Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Slipping expectations for child outcomes

Certainly we should be happy that kids from “at risk” environments graduate from high school and do not end up in prison for life. But is this enough to aim for? We may not score their life outcome as minus 5 (on a -10 to +10 scale), but Chiron’s life outcome does not warrant much more than a zero. Why? Because his intelligence, unique gifts, and potential were not fostered (which would go on the plus side of zero).

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Digging for the truth?: Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland

In the summer of 2014, reports that a ‘septic tank grave’ containing the skeletal remains of ‘800 babies’ was discovered within the grounds of a former home for ‘unmarried mothers’ in Tuam, County Galway, featured prominently as an international news ‘story.’ Interest in the issue was prompted by the tireless and tenacious work of a local amateur historian, Catherine Corless.

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The face of today’s elder caregiver

A recent AARP billboard reminds us that the duty to care for an aging or ill parent begins with remembering the care provided to us when we were children. How does this caregiving expectation, grounded in reciprocity, apply to the approximately 76 million Baby Boomers in the United States whose aging will dominate the next few decades?

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State of the union for Social Work Month 2017

We face a host of intertwined issues of social justice today, most of which are not new but deeply embedded historically. Poverty is ubiquitous, and economic inequality has increased both nationally and globally. Children continue to bear the brunt of poverty, especially children of color. Struggles for women’s rights continue around the world in the face of persistent gender inequality, oppression, and violence.

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Encyclopedia of Social Work

What is social justice?

Notions of social justice generally embrace values such as the equal worth of all citizens, their equal right to meet their basic needs, the need to spread opportunity and life chances as widely as possible, and finally, the requirement that we reduce and, where possible, eliminate unjustified inequalities. The following excerpt explores the meanings and principles of social justice from a political, philosophical, and social worker perspective.

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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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Transformative social work education: the time is now

In the first week of March, hundreds of social work educators from across the US will come together in New Orleans to discuss the future of social work education at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) conference. It is clear that the stakes for social work education are higher now than ever before. For my students who are working in field placements, there is a growing sense of dissonance.

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Inter-professional practice: conflict and collaboration

The mission of the Association of Baccalaureate Program Directors is to promote excellence in the education of bachelor of social work students. Between 1 March and 5 March, 2017, over 600 social work educators and 120 students will gather in New Orleans for its annual conference. The theme of this year’s conference is, “BPD for the Future: Social Work Educations, Allied Professionals, and Students.”

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Mass incarceration and the perfect socio-economic storm

In nature, there are weather conditions, referred to as ‘perfect storms’, arising from a rare combination of adverse meteorological factors creating violent storms that significantly affect the socio-economic conditions of an area. Social scientists refer to similar adverse factors as cultural amplifier effects. Currently, there are approximately 2000 correctional and detention facilities in the US with over 450,000 employees.

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Human Trafficking Prevention Month: There are no “teen prostitutes”

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, declared each year since 2010 by presidential decree. However, there is still confusion as to what exactly human trafficking is. Despite seven years of raising awareness , on 21st November, the Washington Post published a story with the headline “Two teen prostitutes escaped through a bathroom window, and a sex ring began to unravel.”

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Mean racist, kind racist, non-racist: which are you?

“Race is real, race matters, and race is the foundation of identity.” I imagine that perhaps with a tweak or two, most people would be OK with this declaration. Many people are aware that the concept of race has no biological validity; that it’s a social construct, like gender or money, real only in that we treat them as real.

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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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Writing for an academic audience

Completing multitudinous years of education presumably encourages people to juxtapose one esoteric word after another in order to fabricate convoluted paragraphs formulated of impressively, extensively elongated and erudite sentences. To put it another way: completing many years of education encourages people to write complex paragraphs full of long sentences composed of long words.

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