Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Social Sciences

Common pitfalls for UKCAT students and how to avoid them

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is a widely-used admissions test which allows UK universities to evaluate the current skills and future potential of prospective medical students. Thoroughly preparing for the five separate sections of the UKCAT can be a daunting task, so the examination experts at Kaplan have pinpointed six common pitfalls that students should avoid.

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The Nixon tapes and Donald Trump

Since President Trump’s inauguration, and even before, there have been countless comparisons between the 37th and 45th presidents of the United States. Some of the comparisons make sense, while others do not. For this reason, when I was called upon to ask a question at the 16 May, 2017 CNN town hall debate between Governor John Kasich and Senator Bernie Sanders, and I chose to ask a question about Richard Nixon and Donald Trump.

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Savings banks in Germany: welfare versus politics

In Germany, it is not uncommon for primary-school children to have their own savings account. A reason for this is that on World Savings Day, savings-bank representatives visit schools all over Germany to educate pupils about the benefits of saving. Besides being clever marketing, this program is rooted in the savings banks’ legal pledge to foster economic welfare: German state law requires savings banks to support the local economy.

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The long history of political social media

One of the key stories of the last US presidential election was the battle of words and images fought by supporters of the candidates on social media, or what one journalist has called “The Great Meme War” of 2016. From hashtag slogans like #FeelTheBern and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain to jokey internet memes like “Nasty Women”, public participation in political advocacy and promotion has reached a fever pitch in the age of networked digital technologies.

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Corruption: are you an expert? [quiz]

Headlines regularly focus on political scandals and corruption. From public officials embezzling government monies, selling public offices, and trading bribes for favors to private companies generate public indignation and calls for reform—corruption, it seems, is inevitable. But what really is corruption, and who is responsible for its continuation?

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The global challenges Brexit won’t fix

23 June marks the first anniversary of the UK’s Brexit referendum. One year ago, the European Union was reeling. There were fears that the EU would start to unravel, with other countries being pushed by populism and euroscepticism into following Britain towards the exit door. A year on, that fearful mood has evaporated. But the EU is far from resolving its accumulating problems.

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Latino fathers and parenting: lessons learned from Puerto Rican fathers

atherhood is a complex and an evolving concept which has gained national attention. Fathers play an important role in the development of their children, which also has an impact on their identity as a father. Minority fathers, particularly Latino fathers, have been under-recognized in this call to better understand fatherhood. However, given that Hispanics are the largest minority group in the US, the experiences of these fathers are of heightened importance.

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Visualizing the global income distribution

The evolution of the distribution of income among individuals within countries and across the world has been the subject of considerable academic and popular commentary in the recent past. Works such as Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century or Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality have become unlikely bestsellers, garnering a startling degree of both academic and popular interest.

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The biological ironies of transgender debates

Transgender issues have made significant headlines in the United States. Not long ago, North Carolina struggled to repeal a 2016 law that required people to use only public restrooms that matched the sex on their birth certificate, not their lived gender identity. Only weeks earlier, the US Supreme Court declined to hear a case from a Virginia student on the same issue.

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Can all refugees become economically successful?

We are celebrating the 16th United Nations’ World Refugee Day, scheduled on 20 June every year. It is a day to recognize and honour refugees’ resilience, agency and capability. In the area of refugees’ economic lives, there is growing evidence demonstrating that refugees are economic actors who are able to sustain themselves and to make socio-economic contributions to their hosting society.

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Climate change: are you an expert? [Quiz]

Climate change is one of the most significant and far-reaching problems of the twenty-first century and it is a frequent topic of discussion everywhere from scientific journals to the Senate floor. Because climate change is often the subject of heated debate, it’s easy to mistake political stands for scientific facts. Inspired by The Death of Expertise, in which Tom Nichols explores the dangers of the public rejection of expertise, we’ve created a series of quizzes to test your knowledge.

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How can we measure political leadership?

Understanding and measuring political leadership is a complex business. Though we all have ideals of what makes a ‘good’ leader, they are often complex, contradictory and more than a little partisan. Is it about their skills, their morality or just ‘getting things done’? And how can we know if they succeed or fail (and why?). From Machiavelli onwards we have wrestled with our idea of what a perfect leader should look like.

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The representation of fathers in children’s fiction

There aren’t many areas in literature where men are under-represented, but it’s safe to say that in children’s fiction, men – and fathers in particular – have been largely overlooked. And deliberately so. Adult carers with a sense of responsibility have been ousted from the action because of their exasperating tendency to step in and take control. Children’s authors don’t want competent adults interfering and solving problems.

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Understanding the Democratic Unionist Party

Theresa May’s desperate search for an ally after a calamitous 2017 General Election saw the Democratic Unionist Party come under scrutiny like never before. The DUP is a party which has moved from its fundamentalist Protestant Paisleyite past – but not at a pace always noticeable to outsiders. The DUP is comfortable in its own skin. So, who are the DUP’s members and what do they think?

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Did branding predict Brexit?

Branding predicted Brexit. This bald assertion points to a fascinating truth about the art of branding. Because branding feeds on, and feeds into, popular culture, it’s often a leading indicator of bigger, political phenomena. Where branding leads, the rest of us follow. Let me explain. 2016 was the year of populism. Among other things, the phenomenon of Brexit and Trump was a popular backlash against the globalisation.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: A reading list on elder mistreatment and neglect

This abuse and neglect of older adults violates the cultural expectation that society’s elders should be respected. Mistreatment has far-reaching implications for the physical, mental and financial well-being of older adults, and is particularly harmful to those who are already socially isolated. In 2011 the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated 15 June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

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