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Academic Insights for the Thinking World


Poverty: a reading list

Poverty can be defined by ‘the condition of having little or no wealth or few material possessions; indigence, destitution’ and is a growing area within development studies. In time for The Development Studies Association annual conference taking place in Oxford this year in September, we have put together this reading list of key books on poverty, including a variety of online and journal resources on topics ranging from poverty reduction and inequality, to economic development and policy.

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Olympic swimmers meet Latin America’s vast gray area of private security

During the closing week of the Rio games, the biggest story was not about the pool, the mat, or the track but rather about the after-game party . . . and the after-party mess. As of Friday morning, the next-to-last day of the games, the home page of the New York Times was carrying headlines for five separate articles concerning the event. Clearly, the events that unfolded when the swimmers arrived at the gas station as well as the interviews given by American medalist Ryan Lochte…

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Building community: lessons from swimming

What would be the impact if our current policy to insure safety and prevent drowning were to pay people to swim with each swimmer? No one could go swimming unless they had a paid professional, or paraprofessional, swim with them. Our present policy in human services and mental health is kind of like paying people to insure the safety and well-being of others.

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Journal of Consumer Research

Can we encourage healthier choices by the way we display food options?

The results of our recent experiments show that displaying healthy food to the left of an unhealthy option can influence the selection and consumption volume of the healthier choice. Since managers typically have considerable flexibility in terms of how they display food items in retail outlets and restaurant menus, they can use the findings of our research to design optimal menu formats to suit their sales objectives.

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Some very short reflections on social psychology

What emerged from these studies was a whole area of psychology that revealed the motives and processes that drive peoples’ prejudices. Discovering that it was a basic tendency to categorize that lies at the heart of prejudice had huge implications. It meant that to tackle prejudice we have to not only address the social, the economic and the political: we also need to tackle the psychological.

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Remembering Montrell Jackson’s ethic of mutuality

In a poignant post to his Facebook page on 8 July, police officer Montrell Jackson offered a “hug” and “prayer” to those he met as he patrolled the streets of his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For those looking to fit life to the patterns of literature, the events of the past weeks have had the unsettling feel of a revenge tragedy.

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Brexit, business, and the role of migration for an ageing UK

John Shropshire used to farm celery just in Poland. Why? Because celery production is labour intensive and Poland had abundant available labour. However, he now also farms in the Fens, Cambridgeshire. Why? Because the EU Single Market gives him access to the labour he needs. Not cheap labour – John pays the living wage to his workers – but available seasonal migrant workers from Central and Eastern Europe – 2500 of them.

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Blowin’ in the wind

I am, I suppose, part of the “cognoscenti” in the area of social identity, social bias, and social justice. I’m a tenure-track assistant professor of social work, I’m a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, and I recently wrote a book on how to understand and overcome challenges associated with race.

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Who are the middle class in India?

The idea of the middle class is also invoked, positively, to describe the emerging Indian, who, through education and hard work, is trying to move upwards, with his/her own resources, and in turn, is transforming the country into a modern and developed nation.

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Welfare states and the great unraveling

We appear to be on the verge of a great unraveling – a period in which the established arrangements of political and economic life are rapidly coming undone. And at heart of these events is the question of the welfare state and the security of working people in contemporary capitalism.

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Foreign Policy Analysis

Strategic narratives and war reading list

One area of research in Foreign Policy Analysis is the study of war. In contemporary wars strategic narratives provide a grid for interpreting the why, what and how of the conflict in persuading story lines to win over various audiences – both in the area of operations and at home. The point of departure for scholars utilizing the concept of strategic narrative is that people make sense of war by means of stories through which shared sense is achieved.

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The challenge of adult language learning

Adult migrants often struggle to learn the language of their new country. In receiving societies, this is widely seen as evidence that migrants are lazy, lack the required will power or, worse, actively resist learning the new language as an act of defiance towards their new community. Unfortunately, most of those who point the finger at migrant language shirkers vastly underestimate the effort involved in language learning.

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Urbanization, climate change, and peri-urban water security

Urbanization processes in South Asia have resulted in the growth of peri-urban spaces. These are intermediary zones between rural areas and urban centres that reveal some features of both; mixed and changing land use, social and economic heterogeneity, and a wide diversity of occupational activities and interests. Land and water use patterns undergo a transformation as land uses change from agricultural to industrial and urban.

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LGBT Pride Month: A reading list on LGBT older adults

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots. The Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village was one of the city’s few gay bars or nightclubs at that time.

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