Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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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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“Her home contains tens of thousands of pieces of clothing…”

By Christiana Bratiotis

Sharon is a 53-year-old white woman who is unmarried and lives alone in a multi-family home in a northeastern suburb. Sharon recently lost her job due to her multiple mental and physical health disabilities. Because of her job loss, Sharon is unable to afford her rent. She is now 3 months in the rears and her landlord is demanding payment. He recently stopped by to talk with Sharon. She was home but did not answer the door.

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A fairer future for social care?

By Tom Dening
Social care remains high on the political agenda as the Commission on Funding of Care and Support has this week presented its report to the Chancellor and to the Secretary of State for Health. The Commission comprised the commendably small number of three members – Andrew Dilnot, an economist and Principal of St Hugh’s College, Oxford; Dame Jo Williams, Chair of the Care Quality Commission; and Lord Norman Warner, former Health Minister and erstwhile head of Kent Social Services. In their report, Fairer Care Funding, the Commission has proposed major changes to the current system.

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This Week in History: Happy Birthday, Jane Addams

By Katherine van Wormer
She had no children, but for those of us who are social workers, she was the mother of us all. The social action focus, empathy with people in poverty, campaigning for human rights—these priorities of social work had their origins in the work and teachings of Jane Addams. Unlike the “friendly visitors” before her, Addams came to realize, in her work with immigrants and the poor, that poverty stems not from character defects but from social conditions that need to be changed…

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“I am Troy Davis”

Troy Davis has been on death row since 1991 for the alleged 1989 murder of a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. Now, key prosecution witnesses have come forward and admitted that their original testimonies were not truthful. On June 23, an evidentiary hearing began, and a ruling on Troy Davis is expected not long after legal briefs are filed on July 7th. Here, Elizabeth Beck and Sarah Britto remember the death row sentencing of Troy Davis, the ongoing controversies, and consider what it means to be the man accused of a crime he may not have committed.

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