Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Mad politics

By Matthew Flinders
If you are reading this blog then you’ve obviously survived ‘Blue Monday’. That is, the day in the third week of January when suicide levels tend to peak and demands for counseling rocket as a result of post-Christmas debt, dashed New Year resolutions, and the inevitable sense that this year is actually unlikely to be much different to the last.

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It’s time to rethink unemployment policy

By Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg
Lifeline benefits for millions of jobless workers still hang in the balance. The current debate over whether to maintain benefits for long-term unemployment underscores limitations in unemployment insurance that have plagued this program throughout its history.

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Diseases can stigmatize

By Leonard A. Jason
Names of diseases have never required scientific accuracy (e.g. malaria means bad air, lyme is a town, and ebola is a river). But some disease names are offensive, victim-blaming, and stigmatizing. Multiple sclerosis was once called hysterical paralysis when people believed that this disease was caused by stress linked with oedipal fixations.

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Everybody has a story: the role of storytelling in therapy

By Johanna Slivinske
When was the last time you told or heard a good story? Was it happy, sad, or funny? Was it meaningful? What message did the story convey? People have been telling stories throughout history. They tell stories to teach lessons, to share messages, and to motivate others.

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Will young invincibles buy into the ACA?

By Stephen Gorin, PhD, MSW
Since its enactment in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has been the focus of controversy and heated debate. As the date for implementing the health exchanges approaches, the war of words has intensified. It is perhaps not surprising that in a recent poll for the Kaiser Family Foundation, 51% of respondents said that they lacked enough information to understand how the ACA would affect them and their families, and 44% were unsure whether the ACA was even law.

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Prospects for China’s migrant workers

By Douglas J. Besharov and Karen Baehler
Let’s assume that Nobel economist Paul Krugman and others are right about China’s economy being “in big trouble” and headed for a “nasty slump.” What does this mean for the 150 million current Chinese workers who left their home villages to fill jobs in the new economy’s growth centers?

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National Grandparents Day Tribute

By Georgia Mierswa
Oxford University Press would like to take a moment to honor all grandparents, great-grandparents, and beyond, acknowledging the often extraordinary efforts (more are primary caregivers than ever before in history!) required to build and sustain a family. The information and statistics below have been drawn from numerous articles on the significance of grandparents in Encyclopedia of Social Work.

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Cops and Robbers Redux

By Michael Weiner
The activity has many names: “rough and tumble,” “boy,” “physical,” “aggressive.” We see it everywhere, on playgrounds, in homes, at schools. With early childhood education literature rife with new research, we recognize that this type of play activity is developmentally essential for children.

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Recovery residences and long-term addiction recovery

By Leonard A. Jason, Amy A. Mericle, Douglas L. Polcin, and William L. White
Drug abuse and addiction are among the costliest of health problems, totaling approximately $428 billion annually. People recovering from substance abuse disorders face many obstacles in our current health care system.

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Why reference editors are more like Gandalf than Maxwell Perkins

By Max Sinsheimer
Recently I was chatting with a regular at my gym, an Irish man named Stephen, when he asked me what I do for a living. I told him I am an editor in the reference department at Oxford University Press, and he excitedly launched into a description of the draft manuscript he had just completed, a novel about his wild (and illicit) youth spent between Galway and the Canary Islands.

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Humane, cost-effective systems for formerly incarcerated people

By Leonard A. Jason and Ron Harvey
A recent New York Times article, reports on a study that found private, corporate-run transitional half-way houses were less effective in preventing recidivism than releasing inmates directly into communities. For those interested in understanding and improving outcomes among ex-offenders, these results are discouraging.

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World Social Work Day: Against neoliberal social work?

By John Harris and Vicky White
Social workers around the world are being invited to celebrate World Social Work Day on 19 March under the banner “Promoting Social and Economic Equalities”, taken from the Global Agenda (2010). Such a call to arms is sorely needed in the face of the growing influence of neoliberalism on global social work, an influence manifested in marketisation, consumerisation, and managerialisation.

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‘Grooming’ and the sexual abuse of children

By Dr Anne-Marie McAlinden
The word “grooming” has become synonymous with child sexual abuse. It is often used to describe situations of extra-familial abuse–where “predatory strangers” befriend children who were previously unknown to them. Two of the most prominent social connotations of the term are “on-line grooming” committed via the internet and “institutional grooming” and abuse committed by those in positions of power and trust.

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