Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Comparative Indicators of Education in the United States and Other G-8 Countries: 2009."

This report describes how the education system in the United States compares with education systems in the other G-8 countries--Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom. Twenty-seven indicators are organized in five sections: (1) population and school enrollment; (2) academic performance (including subsections for reading, mathematics, and science); (3) context for learning; (4) expenditure for education; and (5) education returns: educational attainment and income. This report draws on the most current information about education from four primary sources: the Indicators of National Education Systems (INES) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Source: National Center of Education Statistics

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract and available chapters (NCES)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Multi-Generational Housing Patterns

"While most respondents to this January 2009 survey of adults ages 18 and older said that moving in with a friend or family member was unlikely, among those who thought it was a possibility, one-third said that such a move would be due to a loss in income, while one-fifth said it would be due to a change in job status or a change in health status.

Notably, comfort in living with additional friends or family members was high, with more than four in ten respondents saying they would be comfortable with such an arrangement if it became necessary.

This telephone survey of 1,002 adults ages 18 and older was conducted for AARP by International Communications Research (ICR) from January 15 to January 19, 2009."

Source: AARP

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract

Delaying Gratification

"Evidence shows that people may be biased towards seeking short-term rewards at the expense of greater long-term benefits. Several factors influence how biased people are likely to be towards the present. Understanding these could inform policies that encourage individuals to make important life choices that affect their own long-term interests. This note reviews evidence on the influence of time in decisionmaking, and looks at the implications for policy domains such as pensions, health and consumer affairs." Source: UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract at UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Losing the World's Best and Brightest

From Press Release:
Foreign National Students in U.S. Plan to Return to Native Countries Post Graduation, Kauffman Foundation Survey Shows

According to the study’s findings, very few foreign students would like to stay in the United States permanently—only 6 percent of Indian, 10 percent of Chinese and 15 percent of Europeans. And fewer foreign students than the historical norm expressed interest in staying in the United States after they graduate. Only 58 percent of Indian, 54 percent of Chinese and 40 percent of European students wish to stay for several years after graduation. Previous National Science Foundation research has shown 68 percent of foreigners who received science and engineering doctorates stayed for extended periods of time, including 73 percent of those who studied computer science. The five-year minimum stay rate was 92 percent for Chinese students and 85 percent for Indian students.

Source: Kauffman Foundation

Download full pdf report | Link to press release at Kauffman Foundation

The State Street Mile: Age and Gender Differences in Competition-Aversion in the Field

Gender differences in “competitiveness,” previously documented in laboratory experiments, are hypothesized to play a role in a wide array of economic outcomes. The current paper provides evidence of competition-aversion in a natural setting somewhere between the simplicity of a laboratory experiment and the full complexity and ambiguity of a labor market. The “State Street Mile” race offers both male and female participants a choice between two different levels of competition. Large, systematic age and gender differences are observed in the relationship between true ability and the decision to enter the more competitive race. Overall, qualified women and older runners are far less likely than qualified young men to enter a competitive race with cash prizes. However, the fastest young women unanimously enter the competitive race. Therefore, while we confirm age and gender differences in competitiveness in our field setting, the economic consequences to capable young women are rather small.

Source: Department of Economics, UCSB. Departmental Working Papers. Paper 02-09R.

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online abstract [eScholarship Repository]

Declassified and newly released :

Description: is the only website dedicated solely to the scholarly production and dissemination of digitized Nixon tape audio and transcripts. We have the most complete tape collection in existence--approximately 2,150 hours spread over 2.5 terabytes of hard drives that contain more than 6,000 audio files.** The few hours of audio that we do not have will require additional troubleshooting, and could not be converted due to more advanced technical difficulties. However, we are working through these final "problem tapes" and will make them available before anyone else does. In addition, as the remaining tapes from January through July 1973 are released by NARA, they will be added here.

Source: [via ccornell library]

Link to online database

Friday, March 20, 2009

UN Report: The global economic crisis: systemic failures and multilateral remedies

"The report highlights three specific areas in which the global economy experienced systemic failures. While there are many more facets to the crisis, UNCTAD examines here some of those that it considers to be the core areas to be tackled immediately by international economic policy-makers because they can only be addressed through recognition of their multilateral dimensions." Source: United Nations Council on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Report available in English French Spanish Chinese and Russian

Download full pdf of report in English
| Link to download report in other languages

Support For Health Care Overhaul, But It's Not 1993

From Online Overview:

Most Americans believe that the nation’s health care system is in need of substantial changes. But there is less support for completely rebuilding the health care system than there was in April 1993, during the early stage of the Clinton administration’s unsuccessful effort to revamp health care.

Still, the public continues to favor the government guaranteeing health insurance for all citizens, even if it means raising taxes. About six-in-ten (61%) favor a government guarantee of health insurance, which is little changed from last August (63%).

Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report | Download pdf topline questionnaire | Link to online overview

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Digest of Education Statistics, 2008

"The 44th in a series of publications initiated in 1962, the Digest's primary purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. The Digest contains data on a variety of topics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, and federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons."

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf publication | Link to abstract and site to download separate chapters

The Myth of Equality in the Employment Relation

Partial Abstract:
Although it is widely understood that employers and employees are not equally situated, we fail adequately to account for this inequality in the law governing their relationship. We can best understand this inequality in terms of status, which encompasses one’s level of income, leisure and discretion. For a variety of misguided reasons, contract law has been historically highly resistant to the introduction of status-based principles. Courts have preferred to characterize the unfavorable circumstances that many employees face as the product of unequal bargaining power. But bargaining power disparity does not capture the moral problem raised by inequality in the employment relation, and thus, it has failed to inspire any meaningful attempt to address that inequality. By contrast, a status-based approach would motivate several common sense doctrinal changes.
Source: University of Pennsylvania Law School. Scholarship at Penn Law. Paper 265.

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Literacy of Foreign-Born Adults in the United States

This Issue Brief draws on data from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) to explore the English literacy of foreign-born adults living in households in the United States. The brief presents the English literacy scores of foreign-born adults age 16 and older by race/ethnicity, age of arrival in the United States, years spent in the United States, highest level of educational attainment, and language spoken before starting school. Scores are reported on three literacy scales: prose, document, and quantitative. Findings indicate that English literacy scores of foreign-born adults varied across a variety of background characteristics. For example, Hispanics, who represented approximately half of foreign-born adults, had lower average prose, document, and quantitative literacy scores than their foreign-born Black, White, and Asian peers. In addition, foreign-born adults who had been in the United States the least amount of time (1 to 5 years) had lower average scores on each literacy scale than foreign-born adults who had spent the most amount of time (21 to 30 years and 31 years or more) in the country.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary and data tables

Monday, March 16, 2009

Maps of Science :

"Intricate maps of science have been created from citation data to visualize the structure of scientific activity. However, most scientific publications are now accessed online. Scholarly web portals record detailed log data at a scale that exceeds the number of all existing citations combined. Such log data is recorded immediately upon publication and keeps track of the sequences of user requests (clickstreams) that are issued by a variety of users across many different domains. Given these advantages of log datasets over citation data, we investigate whether they can produce high-resolution, more current maps of science."

PlosOne Article Link
| NY Times Article Link

Why Should Iowa Remain the First Presidential Primary?

From Press Release:

A new study finds that Iowa reflects the diversity of America more than most other U.S. states and is well-placed to deserve its status as the first presidential nomination primary. In particular, Iowa was found to be particularly typical of the U.S. in economic and social terms.

The research was presented in an article by political scientists Michael Lewis-Beck (University of Iowa) and Peverill Squire (University of Missouri) entitled “Iowa: The Most Representative State?” appearing in the January issue of PS: Political Science & Politics, a journal of the American Political Science Association. The article is available online.

Source: American Political Science Association

Download full pdf publication | Link to online press release

Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2008

According to Current Population Survey estimates for 2008, 75.3 million American workers age 16 and over were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.2 percent of all wage and salary workers.1 On July 24, 2008, the Federal minimum wage increased to $6.55 per hour from $5.85 per hour. Data in this report reflect the average number of workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less for the year (those who earned $5.85 or less from January 2008 through July 2008 and those who earned $6.55 or less from August 2008 through the end of the year). Among those paid by the hour, 286,000 earned exactly the prevailing Federal minimum wage in 2008. About 1.9 million had wages below the minimum.2 Together, these 2.2 million workers with wages at or below the minimum made up 3.0 percent of all hourly-paid workers. Tables 1-10 present data on a wide array of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics for hourly-paid workers earning at or below the Federal minimum wage. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Download full pdf report
| Link to online html version

State of the News Media 2009

From the introduction:

Even before the recession, the fundamental question facing journalism was whether the news industry could win a race against the clock for survival: could it find new ways to underwrite the gathering of news online, while using the declining revenue of the old platforms to finance the transition?

In the last year, two important things happened that have effectively shortened the time left on that clock.

First, the hastening audience migration to the Web means the news industry has to reinvent itself sooner than it thought—even if most of those people are going to traditional news destinations. At least in the short run, a bigger online audience has worsened things for legacy news sites, not helped them.

Then came the collapsing economy. The numbers are only guesses, but executives estimate that the recession at least doubled the revenue losses in the news industry in 2008, perhaps more in network television. Even more important, it swamped most of the efforts at finding new sources of revenue. In trying to reinvent the business, 2008 may have been a lost year, and 2009 threatens to be the same.

Source: Pew Project for excellence in Journalism

Link to full report in html | Link to summary online

Girl Power: Educating Girls in the 21st Century

From the foreward: "This book presents compelling evidence of the challenges for educa-tional development and the determining factors for gender inequalities— in education particularly and society more broadly.It also presents examples of country-level experiences that help us understand issues and reaffirm the business case for investing more in female education. The book is a useful reference for researchers,policy makers,and development practitioners.We hope that the key messages,examples,and recommendations summarized in its chapters will help countries implement strategic policies and actions to accelerate the move toward gender equality and the empowerment of women by 2015." Source: World Bank

Download full pdf publication
| Link to publication website: World Bank

Lion and Lamb—The Strong Black Woman Gets Abused: “Afflictions of Specialness” in Post-Feminist and Post-Civil Rights Film

"Black women are an endangered species. An endangered species is defined as “anyone or anything whose continued existence is threatened.”i In both American society and popular culture, this definition holds true for African American women. If a Black woman goes missing, she will rarely, if ever, be the topic of a primetime news special. Displaced from social discourses, Black women’s assault in popular media’s hegemonic narratives is peripheral and often unnoticed." Source: UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Thinking Gender Papers. Paper TG09_Sheppard. [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf report
| Link to online summary

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs

The "digital divide" is a term that has been used to characterize a gap between "information haves and have-nots," or in other words, between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications technologies (e.g., telephones, computers, the Internet) and those who do not. One important subset of the digital divide debate concerns high-speed Internet access, also known as broadband. Broadband is provided by a series of technologies (e.g. cable, telephone wire, satellite, wireless) that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than current Internet access over traditional telephone lines. Broadband technologies are currently being deployed by the private sector throughout the United States. While the numbers of new broadband subscribers continue to grow, studies conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Commerce (DOC), and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggest that the rate of broadband deployment in urban and high income areas may be outpacing deployment in rural and low-income areas. Some policymakers, believing that disparities in broadband access across American society could have adverse economic and social consequences on those left behind, assert that the federal government should play a more active role to avoid a "digital divide" in broadband access. One approach is for the federal government to provide financial assistance to support broadband deployment in underserved areas. Others, however, believe that federal assistance for broadband deployment is not appropriate. Some opponents question the reality of the "digital divide," and argue that federal intervention in the broadband marketplace would be premature and, in some cases, counterproductive. Legislation introduced into the 107th Congress sought to provide federal financial assistance for broadband deployment in the form of grants, loans, subsidies, and tax credits. Similar legislation has been introduced into the 108th Congress. In assessing this legislation, several policy issues arise. For example, is the current status of broadband deployment data an adequate basis on which to base policy decisions? Given the early stages of broadband deployment, is federal assistance premature, or do the risks of delaying assistance to underserved areas outweigh the benefits of avoiding federal intervention in the marketplace? And finally, if one assumes that governmental action is necessary to spur broadband deployment in underserved areas, which specific approaches, either separately or in combination, are likely to be most effective? This report will be updated as events warrant. Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress

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| Link to online summary

Wartime Feminists in the City of Ram: Women’s Movement in the City of Guangzhou during the Second World War

"The Second World War, better known in China as the Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945), fundamentally changed the fate of the country. Faced with this national crisis, two leading parties, the Guomindang (GMD, or the Nationalist Party) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), formed a united front to resist their common enemy, while citizens all over the country were motivated to support the cause of national salvation. People in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong Province in southern China, were no exception. As the center of activism for Chinese revolutionaries and the capital of the Nationalist Party in the early twentieth century, wartime Guangzhou remained the gathering place where contemporary patriots created a war resistance movement and even encouraged local women to participate in the effort of national salvation. However, very few studies have been conducted on the activities and views of local female activists during this significant historical moment. This study examines the national identity of Guangzhou female activists through their war activism and self-perceptions."

Source: UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Thinking Gender Papers. Paper TG09_Cheung.
[via eScholarship repository]

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| Link to online abstract

Nationalism, Conflict and the Feminist Subject Among Modern Iraqi Women

Abstract: The American occupation of Iraq, now widely acknowledged in many progressive and not-necessarily progressive circles as an ill-conceived initiative, went through numerous phases in its justification. After the United States government realized that there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found in the country, its rhetoric in framing the war shifted quickly to emphasize democracy, a significant element of which was the liberation of women. This argument used Iraq as a symbol for the backward and traditional stereotypes of the Middle East, and emphasized its despotic government and ‘tribal’ mentality to frame the invasion as an effort in the name of humanity’s collective progress toward Western modernity. Considerable ink has been spilled elsewhere contesting and condemning that narrative; I will not take up the question of its validity today. Instead, I would like to discuss some of the ways that Iraqi women are now articulating and remembering Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, particularly the situation for women therein, and the manner in which those narratives can be understood as a response and a resistance to the American decision to frame the occupation in terms of women’s rights.

Source: UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Thinking Gender Papers. Paper TG09_Macdougall.

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Many Would Shrug if Their Local Newspaper Closed

Limbaugh Flap Draws More Coverage Than Interest

As many newspapers struggle to stay economically viable, fewer than half of Americans (43%) say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community “a lot.” Even fewer (33%) say they would personally miss reading the local newspaper a lot if it were no longer available.

Not unexpectedly, those who get local news regularly from newspapers are much more likely than those who read less often to see the potential shutdown of a local paper as a significant loss. More than half of regular newspaper readers (56%) say that if the local newspaper they read most often no longer published – either in print or online – it would hurt the civic life of the community a lot; an almost identical percentage (55%) says they would personally miss reading the paper a lot if it were no longer available.

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

Download full pdf report
| Download topline questionnaire | Link to online summary

Monday, March 09, 2009

Presidential Records: Issues for the 111th Congress

Most records of recent former Presidents and former Vice Presidents are required by statute to be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of each administration. These records are then disclosed to the public, unless the Archivist of the United States, the incumbent President, or the appropriate former President claims the records should be kept private. On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama issued an executive order (E.O. 13489), rescinding E.O. 13233, changing substantially the presidential record preservation policies promulgated by the George W. Bush Administration. E.O. 13489 grants the incumbent President and the relevant former Presidents 30 days to review records prior to their being released to the public. Under the policies of the Bush Administration, the incumbent President, former Presidents, former Vice Presidents, and their designees were granted broad authority to deny access to presidential documents or to delay their release indefinitely. Moreover, former Presidents had 90 days to review whether requested documents should be released. Prior to President Obamas issuance of E.O. 13489, legislation was introduced in the 111th Congress (H.R. 35) that would statutorily rescind the executive order (E.O. 13233) issued by former President George W. Bush. E.O. 13233 allowed the incumbent President as well as former Presidents whose records were affected to withhold from public disclosure the records of former Presidents and Vice Presidents or to delay their release indefinitely under claims of executive privilege. In addition to statutorily overturning E.O. 13233, H.R. 35 would reduce the time a President would have review his records prior to their public release. This report will analyze President Barack Obamas E.O. 13489, and discuss its departure from the policies of the previous administration. Additionally, this report will examine H.R. 35 and its possible legislative effects on the presidential records policies of the Obama Administration.

Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress

Download full pdf report
| Link to online abstract

Why Surveys of Muslim Americans Differ

Muslim Americans are a population of great interest to scholars, journalists and policy makers in the U.S. Yet because Muslims make up a very small percentage of the total U.S. public, it is extremely difficult to interview a large enough sample to provide a reliable picture of their views, experiences and demographic characteristics.

Source:Pew Research Center : Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Read entire article online

Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States

"This statistical profile of the foreign-born population is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau's 2007 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of about 3 million addresses. It covers virtually the same topics as those in the long form of the decennial census. The ACS is designed to provide estimates of the size and characteristics of the resident population, which includes persons living in households and, for the first time, persons living in group quarters."
Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf of all tables (1-36) | Link to Pew site to download data tables individually.

One in Four California Adolescent Girls Have Had Human Papillomavirus Vaccination

This policy brief looks at awareness and utilization of the Human Papillomavirus vaccine among girls age 13 years and older as well as among young women. Interest in receiving the vaccine, as well reasons for not getting the vaccine, is also explored for teen girls, young women and the parents of age-eligible daughters. Using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey, the authors find that one-quarter of California adolescent girls have started the series of shots that protect against HPV, a virus strongly linked to cervical cancer. Additionally, a majority of teen girls, parents and young women in California say they would like to have the vaccine. The research represents the first data on HPV vaccine use and acceptability published for any state. This policy brief was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Download publication pdf | Link to online abstract

Half a Million Older Californians Living Alone Unable to Make Ends Meet

Using the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (Elder Index), the authors of this policy brief find that nearly half a million elders (495,000) living alone in California in 2007 could not make ends meet—lacking sufficient income to pay for a minimum level of housing, food, health care, transportation and other basic expenses. The authors find particular cost inequities for elderly renters, for Latinos, women and the very old and find the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) that many programs use as part of eligibility guidelines is inadequate to support the needs of many seniors in California. The Elder Index is an estimation tool based on the actual cost in each county of basic necessities for older adults. This policy brief presents the first data on older Californians using the 2007 Elder Index. The supporting materials web page includes additional detailed county by county information. This analysis in this report was supported by: UCOP-California Program on Access to Care, Los Angeles County Area Agency on Aging, Aging & Independent Services of San Diego and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Paper 112.

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

The Role of Gender, Religion and Friendship in the Perception of the “Other

This paper reports some results from a large scale national study of attitudes towards Islam and Muslims amongst Australian secondary students. Wide-spread negative stereotypes and the relatively new presence of the Muslim community in Australia tend to suggest non-Muslim students may not be well informed, while the longstanding multicultural posture of educational policy suggests otherwise. Variation in response between boys and girls, religion or non-religious affiliated also revealed a high level of significance. Specifically girls and students in non-religious schools were more accepting of Muslims. It was found that having a friend who is Muslim is significantly associated with reduced prejudice towards Muslims. While non-Muslim students agree that acceptance of Muslims does not come easily in Australia, school does not emerge as a site for change. The findings show Australian students are generally ignorant about Muslims and Islam, and few believe that schools are filling the gaps in their knowledge

Source: U.C. Irvine: World Cultures eJournal: Vol. 17: No. 1, Article 2.

Download publication in pdf | Link to online abstract

Harvard Law Library : Studies in Scarlet

"Studies in Scarlet presents the images of over 420 separately published trial narratives from the Harvard Law School Library's extensive trial collections. Included are a number of trials of the wealthy and renowned such as an account of the adultery trial of Caroline, Queen Consort of George IV, the sodomy trial of Oscar Wilde, and the trial of Harry Thaw for the murder of Stanford White, the famous architect who was Evelyn Nesbit Thaw's lover. The larger part of the collection, however, consists of the stories of ordinary men and women thrust into the public eye when their marriages and love affairs went wrong or their relationships did not conform to social standards."

"Studies in Scarlet includes American, British, and Irish cases 1815-1914 involving domestic violence, bigamy, seduction, breach of promise to marry, and the custody of children, as well as trials for murder and rape. These trials are especially rich sources for the study of the history of women in early modern society."

Link to Studies in Scarlet

Declassified Documents via the Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security

The Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security (PHP, the former Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact), provides new scholarly perspectives on contemporary international history by collecting, publishing, and interpreting formerly secret governmental documents.

In response to the declassification of NATO records and the growing availability of documents from archives in Eastern and Central Europe, PHP as a cooperative undertaking of more than twenty partner institutes brings together leading Cold War historians, archivists, and government officials. The findings are presented to the specialist academic community at conferences and published both in print and on the PHP website.

Since its establishment in 1999, the project has collected thousands of pages of material on security-related issues of the Cold War, published a large number of online documentaries and publications on central issues such as mutual threat perceptions and alliance management, and organized several major international conferences on war planning, intelligence, and intra-bloc tensions.

The thrust of PHP research interest is in the recent historical origins and development of current security issues and institutions on the basis of newly available documentary evidence.

Supported by the International Relations Security Network.

Link to PHP Website

Association of Religion Data Archives

The ARDA allows you to interactively explore the highest quality data on American and international religion using online features for generating national profiles, GIS maps, church membership overviews, denominational heritage trees, tables, charts, and other reports. Over 450 surveys and other data collections are available for online preview and virtually all can be downloaded free of charge.

The ARDA is based in the Department of Sociology at The Pennsylvania State University. Their is to preserve and provide access to high-quality data on religion in the United States and abroad. ARDA is funded by the Lilly Endowment and the John Templeton Foundation.

Link to the Association of Religion Data Archives

Friday, March 06, 2009

Language And Gender: The Mass Media’s Portrayal Of Two U.S. Presidential Candidates

The presence of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign raised new questions about bias and sexism in the media’s portrayal of the candidates. The recent commemorative inaugural edition of Newsweek noted that “Clinton’s campaign for the presidency showed us how far we’ve come on women’s rights – and how far we haven’t come” (109). While Obama and Clinton were vying for the Democratic nomination, the March 17, 2008 Newsweek issue featured a picture of Hillary Clinton and the title “Hear Her Roar: Gender, Class, and Hillary Clinton”. Two online media sources at the time asked if “media outlets [were] biased against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton due to her gender” ( and if “Hillary Clinton’s campaign [was] the victim of sexism” ( As Talbot (2007) notes in Media Discourse: Representation and Interaction, “[in] modern democracies the media serve a vital function as a public forum” (3). Considering the media’s effects on the nation and the public’s ideas, it is essential to analyze the language and discourse of the media during critical moments in national histories such as presidential campaigns.
Sources: UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Thinking Gender Papers. Paper TG09_Avineri. [via eScholarship repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Monday, March 02, 2009

As Baby Boomers Age, Fewer Families Have Children Under 18 at Home

From the press release:
The findings come from America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2008, a collection of 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS) statistics on family and nonfamily households, characteristics of single-parent families, living arrangements of children and data on married and unmarried couples. The CPS has been conducted annually since 1940.

“Decreases in the percentage of families with their own child under 18 at home reflect the aging of the population and changing fertility patterns,” said Rose Kreider, family demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. “In 2008, not only were baby boomers old enough that most of their children were 18 and over, but they were having fewer kids than their parents, as well.”

In 1950, 52 percent of family households had their own child under 18. During the years when the baby boomers were young, this percentage increased, reaching 57 percent in the early 1960s. In 2008, however, when the baby boomers were about ages 44 to 62, and likely to be householders themselves, the percentage of families with a child had declined to 46 percent.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

America's Families and Living Arrangements: Link to detailed tables

U.S. Department of State: The State Department’s 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

"The reports themselves are based on information that we have received from governments, multilateral institutions, from national and international nongovernmental groups, and from academics, jurists, religious groups and the media. They have gone through a lengthy process of checking and cross-checking. As we present these reports, the Department of State remains mindful of the both international and domestic scrutiny of our own human rights record." Source: U.S. Department of State

Link to site for country by country reports

SPLC Report: Hate Group Numbers Up By 54% Since 2000

The Southern Poverty Law Center identified 926 hate groups active in 2008, up more than 4 percent from the 888 groups in 2007 and far above the 602 groups documented in 2000.

As in recent years, hate groups were animated by fears of Latino immigration. This rise in hate groups has coincided with a 40 percent growth in hate crimes against Latinos between 2003 and 2007, according to FBI statistics.

Two new factors were introduced to the volatile hate movement in 2008: the faltering economy and the Obama campaign.

Link to the "Year in Hate" | Link to list and interactive, state-by-state map of hate groups

Beyond the Bubble: Technology and the Future of Student Assessment

From the online summary:
Students today are growing up in a world overflowing with a variety of high-tech tools, from computers and video games to increasingly sophisticated mobile devices. And unlike adults, these students don't have to adjust to the information age—it will be all they've ever known. Their schools are gradually following suit, integrating a range of technologies both in and outside of the classroom for instructional use. But there's one day a year when laptops power down and students' mobile computing devices fall silent, a day when most schools across the country revert to an era when whiteboards were blackboards, and iPhones were just a twinkle in some techie's eye—testing day.

Source: Education Sector

Download full pdf report
| Link to online summary

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

State-by-State Estimates of Key Provisions Affecting Low- and Moderate-Income Individuals

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is designed to boost employment and the economy. It contains a number of spending and tax measures crafted to inject more aggregate demand into the sagging economy. This paper provides state-by-state estimates for a number of the major spending and tax provisions that will affect low- and moderate-income Americans (some provisions cannot be allocated on a state-by-state basis).

The provisions providing relief to low- and moderate-income families and to states facing serious budget shortfalls are among the most effective economic stimulus in the package. Low-income and unemployed families will spend benefits or tax refunds quickly to meet household expenses. The state fiscal relief will lessen the degree to which states will have to enact very painful budget cuts and tax increases, both of which have a negative effect on the economy. In addition, the measures included in the package will help avert severe hardship among low-income populations and preserve some needed state and local services.

The paper provides short descriptions and tables with estimated state-by-state impacts of several key provisions. These estimates are based on the best available data to CBPP. The agencies that administer these programs will provide the official allocations of formula grants in the coming days.

Source: Center on Budget Policy and Priorities

Download full pdf report | Link to CBPP - download site

Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2010

Budget of the United States Government — Fiscal Year 2010: The Budget Documents
Available as one document or download individual departments/agencies

Source:United States Office of Management and Budget

Download full budget document in pdf format (A new era of Responsibility) | Link to download site for various departments/agencies

New Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean, 2008

The Yearbook is divided into four chapters:

* Demographic and social areas, with special attention to gender;
* Economical statistics such as prices, international trade, balance of payments and national accounts;
* Information on natural resources and the environment;
* Methodological aspects and other data on sources, definitions and coverage of the statistics cited.

The document can be fully downloaded in PDF format. Also, it is possible to access to the statistical chart in Excel format. The extension of the data series that can be downloaded in Excel format vary depending on the thematic area and on each indicator or statistic.

Download full pdf report
| Link to site for downloading files including data tables

A Rising Share: Hispanics and Federal Crime

From Online Summary:
Sharp growth in illegal immigration and increased enforcement of immigration laws have altered the ethnic composition of offenders sentenced in federal courts. In 2007, Latinos accounted for 40% of all sentenced federal offenders-more than triple their share (13%) of the total U.S. adult population. The share of all sentenced offenders who were Latino in 2007 was up from 24% in 1991, according to an analysis of data from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. Moreover, by 2007, immigration offenses represented nearly one-quarter (24%) of all federal convictions, up from just 7% in 1991. Among those sentenced for immigration offenses in 2007, 80% were Hispanic.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

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Military Recruitment Provisions Under the No Child Left Behind Act: A Legal Analysis

Online Summary:
Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) of 2001, which amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), high schools that receive federal funds must provide certain student contact information to military recruiters upon request and must allow recruiters to have the same access to students as employers and colleges. Because the 111th Congress is likely to consider reauthorization of the ESEA, legislators may contemplate changes to the military recruitment provisions, either as part of the reauthorization or as stand-alone legislation. Currently, one bill, S. 87, has been introduced in the 111th Congress. This report describes the NCLBA military recruitment provisions and discusses the legal issues that they may raise.

Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress

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China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States

Updated Feb. 2009

Over the past several years, China has enjoyed one of the world's fastest growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth. However, the current global financial crisis threatens to significantly slow China's economy. Several Chinese industries, particularly the export sector, have been hit hard by crisis, and millions of workers have reportedly been laid off. This situation is of great concern to the Chinese government, which views rapid economic growth as critical to maintaining social stability. China is a major economic power and holds huge amounts of foreign exchange reserves, and thus its policies could have a major impact on the global economy. For example, the Chinese government has recently announced plans to implement a $586 billion package to help stimulate the domestic economy. If successful, this plan could also boost Chinese demand for imports. In addition, in an effort to help stabilize the U.S. economy, China might boost its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, which would help fund the Federal Government's borrowing needs to purchase troubled U.S. assets and to finance economic stimulus packages. However, some U.S. policymakers have expressed concerns over the potential political and economic implications of China's large and growing holdings of U.S. Government debt securities. This report will be updated as events warrant.

Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress

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