Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

The politics of food [podcast]

Gearing up for Thanksgiving and the holiday season brings excitement for decorations and holiday cheer, but it can also bring on a financial burden – especially where food is concerned. The expectation to host a perfect holiday gathering complete with a turkey and trimmings can cause unnecessary pressure on those who step up to host family and friends.

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Who remembers Goffman?

Erving Goffman died 36 years ago, in 1982, but his work is still frequently cited (Google Scholar documents 260,399 citations as of this writing) and he is certainly remembered by many. This is a meditation on when we remember to think of (and credit) the originator of an idea, and when we don’t, and what difference it makes.

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Financial capability for all

Millions of U.S. families find themselves in precarious financial circumstances, living on the wrong side of the growing income and wealth divide. Despite the recent economic recovery, average wages buy about the same amount of goods and services as they did 40 years ago. The federal minimum wage, adjusting for inflation, buys less today than it did in 1968. Income increases have mostly gone to top income earners. Meanwhile, household wealth is even more concentrated.

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Serena redux: waiting to exhale

By now, much has been written about the Serena Williams-Naomi Osaka-Carlos Ramos fiasco at the 2018 US Open. During the women’s final, the umpire, Carlos Ramos, issued Williams a warning for suspected coaching from her player’s box.

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Consent on campus [podcast]

As students head back to university to start their fall semester, the conversation of consent will no doubt surround them on campus. But what can actually be defined as consent? Where do students learn what consent actually means? From the time of adolescence, students are taught the notion of consent, which impacts how they view the term in their later life.

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2018 Midterm Elections HQ | Oxford University Press

The United States midterm elections will decide who controls the Senate and House during the remaining years of the Trump Administration’s first term. In order for the Democrats to gain control over the House, they would need to see a net gain of 24 seats. To regain control of the Senate, Democrats would need to keep all of their seats and capture two of the Republican seats for a 51-49 majority. Of the seats up for election, 35 are held by Democrats, and 9 are held by Republicans. We’ve pulled together a collection of related books, articles, and social media content to help our readers better understand these elections. Be sure to check back each week, and follow our hashtag #BallotReady for more Midterms 2018 content.

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5 essential focuses in Sociology

Sociology is a rather new discipline; while its founding theorists lived during the Enlightenment, seminal figures like Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber shaped the field amid the rise of industrialization and modernity. The scientific and political upheavals of the 19th and 20th centuries brought about a new understanding of how society worked. It is truly a crucial field of study in today’s interconnected world.

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The cost of the American dream

In its simplest form, the American Dream asserts that success should be determined by effort, not one’s starting point. This is the promise on which most Americans base their hopes and the calculus that is supposed to govern our institutions.

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World Humanitarian Day [podcast]

On this episode of The Oxford Comment, we take a look at the challenges faced by humanitarians today. Host Erin Katie Meehan sat down with Health & Social Work editorial board member Sarah Gehlert, Belinda Gurd and Alexandra Eurdolian of the UNOCHA, and esteemed psychologist Robert J. Wicks to explore important questions about humanitarianism.

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Revolutionary Music and the Social Fabric of Rebellion

Rebels are central actors in civil wars. However, their perspectives and lifeworlds remain little understood. In fact, many studies on civil war suffer from what Ranajit Guha criticised as the “prose of counterinsurgency”: scholars often infer the logic of rebellion from second-hand accounts, many of which are produced in the interest of state power. Insofar as scholarship has been interested in the rebel perspective, it mostly focuses on the strategic calculus of revolutionary elites.

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How ‘the future’ connects across subjects

‘Today’s world is complex and unreliable. Tomorrow is expected to be more so.’ – Jennifer M. Gidley, The Future: A Very Short Introduction From the beginning of time, humanity has been driven by a paradox: fearing the unknown but with a constant curiosity to know. Over time, science and technology have developed, meaning that we […]

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New narrative nonfiction [podcast]

After the 2008 recession, print book sales took a hit, but now BookScan has recorded consistent growth in print book sales year over year for the past five years. What has been driving these sales? Surprisingly, adult nonfiction sales. Covering topics from history, politics and law, nonfiction saw a growth of 13 percent during the last fiscal year.

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Beyond nostalgia: understanding socialism markets

From Che Guevara t-shirts and Honnecker’s Hostel to Mao mugs and Good Bye, Lenin!—why do millions of consumers in China, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and other former socialist societies still insist on the superiority of socialist products and brands? The standard explanation offered by consumer sociologists and historians is that these thriving socialism markets stimulate political opposition, a yearning for the “better” socialist past.

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The evisceration of storytelling

In his seminal essay “The Storyteller,” published in 1936, the German philosopher Walter Benjamin decried the loss of the craft of oral storytelling marked by the advent of the short story and the novel. Modern society, he lamented, had abbreviated storytelling. Fast forward to the era of Facebook, where the story has become an easily digestible soundbite on your news feed or timeline.. Complexity is eschewed,

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