Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Cassandra Gill

Encyclopedia of Social Work

Why social work is essential

March is Social Work Month in the United States. Social workers stand up every day for human rights and social justice to help strengthen our communities. They can be the voice for people who aren’t being heard, and they tackle serious social issues in order to “forge solutions that help people reach their full potential and make our nation a better place to live.” There are over 600,000 social workers in the US alone.

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Oxford Classical Dictionary

How much do you know about ancient Greek and Roman marriages?

Lacking in love or not, the Greeks’ and Romans’ celebration of marriage was still marked by particular customs. Some of their marital traditions form the roots of modern practices today. For instance, while the Romans might not have gifted diamonds and other “bling” as frequently as suitors do now, an intending husband did solemnize his engagement with a kiss and an iron ring.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion

How much do you know about the prophets in the Old Testament?

The ancient prophets were said “to possess an intimate association with God” and spoke on behalf of God as divine messengers. Revealing his divine will as “mouthpieces,” the prophets did not claim to possess special powers in predicting the future, but rather simply relayed a message from the omnipotent, omniscient Being. Test your knowledge to see how much you know about the ancient prophets with this quiz.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion

9 fascinating facts about festivals in ancient Greece and Rome

The ways in which the ancient people chose to express themselves on these special calendar days is fascinating. In examining both its contrasts and similarities to today, studying ancient culture can be seen as the study of our own humanity. To demonstrate some of the unique aspects of culture in ancient Greece and Rome, we compiled a list of these 9 facts about some festivals in ancient Greece and Rome.

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Social Work

International Human Rights Day resources

December 10 is International Human Rights Day, as recognized by the United Nations. Human dignity, freedom from discrimination, civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights for all should go without question. Whether it be from “the Hindu Vedas; the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi; the Bible; the Quran (Koran); the Analects of Confucius; the codes of conduct of the Inca,

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Social Work

The simple definitive guide to meditation and mindfulness

Life in the modern era is total chaos. From the constant outbursts of sound, to the ubiquitous bombardment of advertisements, to the racing taxi cabs, cars, and buses, to the sheer swarms of people, even a simple stroll in the city can be massively taxing on your sensory system.

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Social Work

Elimination of violence against women reading list

The World Health Organization estimates that “about 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.” Few data exists and measurements can vary substantially across cultures, but evidence suggests that even more women face psychological violence

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Encyclopedia of Social Work

Donate smarter this Thanksgiving and holiday season

You probably know about how important it is to donate food to your local soup kitchen during the holiday season (and the rest of the year, as well!), but do you ever give much thought to what you’re donating? Do you ever give food you wouldn’t necessarily want to feed to your kids in large quantities?

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American History

Why were the Salem Witch Trials so significant?

Religious fanaticism, power-hungry individuals, local disputes, misogyny, anxiety, political turmoil, psychological distress, and mass hysteria all contributed to the atmosphere surrounding the infamous Salem witch trials. These factors converged in 1692 to “produce what was by far the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in American history

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion

11 things about women in Ancient Israel you probably didn’t know

In a book that is mostly written by men and about men, what is the role of women? Over 90% of the names in the Hebrew bible are men. Most of the main actors of the text are men, and the books were originally written by and for men. Finding out about women’s experiences is not easy, but scholars have been able to figure out a lot by carefully combing through the text.

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Social Work

Homelessness: issues by the numbers and how you can help

Today, 10 October, is World Homeless Day. This day is dedicated to increasing awareness of the global issues surrounding homelessness, as well as getting people involved in their community to help meet the needs of homeless people locally. The increased publicity and solidarity of the global platform helps to strengthen grassroots campaigns at the most local level. The problems regarding homelessness are multifaceted.

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American History

The transformation of food in America in the 19th century

At the start of the 1800s, American cities had only a few public dining options such as taverns or hotels; by the end of the century, restaurants had become “a central part of the fabric of cities.” In the 19th century, the landscape of food consumption in America greatly changed. The modern concepts of retail food shops, restaurants, industrial food systems, and diverse food options emerged.

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Encyclopedia of Social Work

The impact of addictions and means of prevention, treatment, & recovery

September is National Recovery Month in the US. Recovery Month is a time dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of substance use and mental disorders. It’s also a time to celebrate those who are in recovery and those who do recover. The goal of the observance month is to educate others that addiction treatment and mental health services are effective, and that people can recover. With respect for this time, we compiled some statistics on addiction disorders to support awareness of these issues and show that individuals are not alone.

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Social Work

Group work with school-aged children [infographic]

From student presentations, to lectures, to reading assignments, and so much more, teachers today have a wide variety of methods at their disposal to facilitate learning in the classroom. For elementary school children, group work has been shown to be one strategy that is particularly effective. The peer-to-peer intervention supports children in developing cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, and socially. Group work encourages children to expand their perspectives on the world.

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Encyclopedia of Social Work

International Peace Day reading list

Today, September 21st, is the International Day of Peace. Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, International Peace Day “provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.” To commemorate Peace Day and to encourage you to think more deeply about these issues, we’ve compiled a reading list of articles from the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History, the Oxford Encyclopedia of American History, and the Encyclopedia of Social Work that explore peace movements, policies, strategies, and global issues.

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Oxford Classical Dictionary

11 facts you may not have known about Roman gladiators

Gladiator fights were the phenomenon of their day – a celebration of courage, endurance, bravery, and violence against a backdrop of fame, fortune, and social scrutiny. Today, over 6 million people flock every year to admire the Colosseum, but what took place within those ancient walls has long been a matter of both scholarly debate and general interest.

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