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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Social Sciences

10 fascinating facts about Lucha Libre

Over the course of the 20th century, Lucha Libre—or professional wrestling—has become a stable of urban Mexican culture. Dating back all the way to the 1800s, professional wrestling has become a distinctly national rendition of an imported product. Within the past 20 years, it has gained international acclaim for its distinctive style: an incredible acrobatic ring style and the highly recognizable masks.

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For the people, by the people: democracy in the US and India [excerpt]

India is the world’s largest democracy. However, despite its shared political system with the United States, India’s approach to human rights and foreign policy differs greatly from its Western counterparts.
The following excerpt from Our Time Has Come highlights the key differences between the American and Indian democratic systems.

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The 12 challenges of social work [slideshow]

The Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative (GCSWI), spearheaded by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW), represents a major endeavor for the entire field of social work. We have identified 12 of the most persistent social issues, such as homelessness, social isolation, mass incarceration, and economic inequality, as well as generating interventions that can be taken to scale in the slideshow below.

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A five-day guide to resiliency in the New Year

In a world that values busyness, it is often easy to prioritize personal responsibilities over personal fulfillment. Phrases like I wish I had the time and once things settle down justify an all-too-common postponement of happiness and self-care. In the following excerpt from Night Call, acclaimed psychologist and author Robert Wicks details a five-day guide to self-care designed to fit even the busiest of schedules.

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Four ways to improve your career in the New Year

With the New Year underway, many are in the process of evaluating their career trajectories for 2018. However, establishing obtainable objectives can be overwhelming if you’re unsure of your long-term goals. Using insights from An Intelligent Career, we’ve pulled together a list of ways that you can make sense of your career and set your objectives for 2018.

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Beethoven’s Ninth at the G-20

The world leaders who had gathered in Hamburg, Germany, this summer for the twelfth G-20 summit on 7 July 2017 found an unusual item on their itinerary: a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth symphony.

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Putin and patriotism: national pride after the fall of the Soviet Union [excerpt]

Following the fall of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin undertook the formidable task of uniting a restless and disorganized Russia. Throughout the early 1990s, the national narrative behind USSR’s regime remained unclear—causing national pride to deteriorate in the confusion. In the following excerpt from The Long Hangover, journalist Shaun Walker sheds light on how Putin used Russia’s victory in World War II to reestablish patriotism within the new Russia.

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Ten steps to take when starting out in practice

Starting out in practice is challenging; especially if your training did not include much of an emphasis on practice development. Most training programs don’t as they have very tight curriculums and focus on teaching the core knowledge and skills needed to prepare one to be a competent and effective clinician. Leaving out the core business of practice skills needed to create a sustainable practice environment can make the transition into private practice quite challenging and anxiety provoking.

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ASSA 2018: a conference and city guide

The annual Allied Social Science Association meeting takes place this year on 5 January – 7 January 2018 at the Philadelphia Marriott in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This three-day meeting hosts over 13,300 of the leading minds in economics to gather and share new ideas and achievements in the field. With such wide range of sessions, panels, and events to attend, we’ve selected a few to help narrow down your list.

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The rise of female whistleblowers

Until recently, I firmly believed whistleblowers would increasingly turn to secure, anonymizing tools and websites, like WikiLeaks, to share their data rather than take the risk of relying on a journalist to protect their identity. Now, however, WikiLeaks is implicated in aiding the election of Donald Trump, and “The Silence Breakers,” outspoken victims of sexual assault, are Time’s 2017 Person of the Year.

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A Q&A with the Editor of Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Susan Easterbrooks

“The field has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, yet in many ways it remains the same. We have benefitted from advancements in technology that have improved listening technology.” Susan Easterbrooks is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. We sat down with Susan to discuss her background, the developments in deaf education, and the challenges scholars face in the field.

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Does the route to equality include Indigenous peoples?

At the time of writing, many Australians are preoccupied with the recent result of the same-sex marriage survey (with 61.6% voting in favour of marriage equality). The survey’s result is indicative of a shift in the thinking about ‘rights’ in general, but also about ‘equality’ and what it means in practice. Unsurprisingly also, and as evidenced throughout the public and social media, all those who advocate for more open and inclusive society are pleased by what looks like a public surge for a social change.

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New year, new you: 13 books for self-improvement in 2018

Last year, twitter highlighted the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2017—which included losing weight, reading more, and learning something new among the most common goals. With 2018 quickly approaching, people all over the world are taking the time to reflect on themselves and determine possible resolutions for the coming year. We’ve put together a reading list of self-improvement books to help our readers reflect and stick to their goals in the New Year.

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Emigration and political change

International mobility has been reshaping the economies and societies of countries over the course of human history. In Europe, during recent years, media and policy-makers have been focused on immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East who cross the Mediterranean Sea to look for opportunities in Europe. However, another important but much less noticed mobility phenomenon has been on the rise.

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To understand modern politics, focus on groups, not individuals

Modern politics seems very ego-centric. It’s common and rational to focus attention on particular individuals, or individual leaders, and puzzle over their actions.For several decades, the social scientific approach to politics also focused on individuals as the unit of interest to explain outcomes and behaviors. On the other hand, we tend to talk about politics in terms of relationships and networks.

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Good and evil: the role of smugglers in the migrant crisis [excerpt]

Since its inception in 2000, International Migrants Day has served as a platform to discuss human rights issues affecting migrants. This year, the UN is focusing on safe migration in a world on the move—opening up an international dialogue about how to ensure safe and systematic migration during times of instability. The migration system today is largely dependent on smugglers: as millions seek to escape violence and economic inequality, many become dependent on criminal networks to facilitate their transport.

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