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Social Sciences


Issues & Controversies

Helps researchers understand the crucial issues we face today, exploring hundreds of hot topics in politics, business government and society, family and community, education and popular culture.

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Opposing Viewpoints In Context discus logo


From immigration to stem cells to texting-while driving, Opposing Viewpoints in Context delivers 13,000+ pro/con views, 1,000+ court case overviews, and thousands more topic overviews, biographies and profiles.

Points of View Reference Center discus logo


Containing resources that present multiple sides of an issue, this database provides rich content that can help students realize and develop persuasive arguments and essays, better understand controversial issues and develop analytical thinking skills.



Abortion , 2018

Provides both sides of the divisive argument surrounding abortion. Also includes information on the number and types of abortions performed in the United States, abortion clinics, teen pregnancy and abortion, views of abortion from around the world, religious thoughts on abortion, and legal rulings pertaining to abortion.

Alcohol, Tobacco, & Illicit Drugs, 2017 ed. , 2018

This volume focuses on the social and moral issues surrounding alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.

American Economy , 2018

Describes the vast size and scope of the American economy, explains how it functions, and examines some of the challenges it faces, such as inflation, government regulation, off-shoring and corporate scandals.

Animal Rights, 2018 ed. , 2018

This volume focuses on the social and moral issues surrounding animal rights.

The A—Z of Death and Dying: Social, Medical, and Cultural Aspects, 2014

This encyclopedia is as an essential resource for those engaged in independent research, and professionals whose work involves caring for the dead, dying, and bereaved. It will also be of great interest to general readers intrigued by the social, medical, and cultural dimensions to human mortality. It offers a highly relevant examination of the social and historical variation in the rituals, practices, and beliefs surrounding the end of life.

Campaign Trends and Election Law , 2017

In the run-up to the 2016 national election, many issues involving election law have come to the fore. This volume will explore such timely topics as campaign finance and the corporate funding of elections in the aftermath of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (2010), which opened the door to unlimited corporate and private funding of candidates in federal elections. The volume will also investigate the effects of SCOTUS's ruling to roll back various aspects of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, allowing states to make their own election laws--including instituting voter ID laws and cancelling early voter registration--without federal oversight. Other important issues under discussion include the rise of one-party domination of state government and the subsequent, unprecedented gerrymandering of districts; the use of initiatives and referendums to mobilize political bases; and the changing uses of social media in campaigns. Articles will also examine the rise of political dissidents both inside and outside the two major parties.

Capital Punishment , 2018

Covers the history of capital punishment plus discussions of numerous court cases, legal decisions, and historical statistics. Also includes information about execution methods, minors and the death penalty, public attitudes and capital punishment around the world.

Careers & Occupations, 2016 ed. , 2017

Examines various trends in careers and occupations in America. Provides the latest information on what Americans do for a living, how much they earn, how they find work and what factors influence these key issues.

Child Abuse & Domestic Violence , 2017

Provides information on the prevalence, causes, and devastating consequences of this type of violence. Also covers the challenges that domestic violence and child abuse pose to the legal system.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Retirement Planning , 2007

This guide addresses every conceivable concern, from healthcare to Social Security, about setting up a sound plan for retirement.

Crime, Prisons & Jails, 2017 ed. , 2018

This volume focuses on the social and moral issues surrounding crime, prisons and jails.

Dealing with Family Rules , 2016

This book teaches readers how to handle rules they don't like and offers suggestions for how to deal with those with which they disagree. Readers will learn about dealing with rules about household chores, leisure time, rules for when they're away from home, and handy strategies for getting along with their families.

Dealing with Your Parents' Divorce , 2016

This book provides guidance in sorting out young people's feelings, understanding the divorce process, and finding people who can offer help. Teens find out how to avoid being caught in the middle of divided loyalties. They learn about conflict resolution and how to communicate with others honestly while dealing with life changes and emotional challenges.

Death & Dying, 2018

Examines how Americans deal with death, with a particular focus on the highly charged political and moral issues of living wills, life-sustaining treatments, end-of-life care funding and physician assisted suicide.

The Digital Age, , 2015

In the 1948 Claude Shannon developed the idea that all communication was reducible to two basic elements, "yes" and "no," signified mathematically as "one" and "zero". Scientists and engineers immediately saw the potential in his idea, a revolutionary system of encoding data that inspired decades of research and development. It took half a century for digital technology to become the norm. This process has been so encompassing that the entire period from the 1980s to the present, has been called "The Digital Age".

Divorce for Dummies® ,3rd ed., 2009

This book covers changes in collaborative divorces, common law marriages, same sex marriages, visitation, and even custody laws (from children to pets).

Education in America , 2018

Areas covered include an overview of American education; primary, elementary, and secondary schools; public versus private schooling; special education; education of gifted children; testing and achievement of students; national education goals; and "at-risk" students. Discusses colleges and universities; issues such as home schooling, school choice, and vouchers; trends in teacher supply and demand; and public opinions about education.

Elder Issues and Politics , 2014

This volume offers an overview of sociology as it applies to elderly issues and politics. The essay collection is broken up into three main sections that describe the social effects of aging, analyze the varying forms of elderly care opportunities, and discuss issues of elder abuse and discrimination.

Electronic America , 2017

Discusses how the United States has been affected by the rapid development and adoption of new electronic devices, programs and other technologies.

Encyclopedia of American Social Movements , 2013

The Encyclopedia of American Social Movements is the first major reference work on the subject that seeks to examine these movements in all their complexity, power and significance.

Encyclopedia of Sociology , 2nd ed., 5v, 2001

This classic reference has been updated to reflect many changes in society and in the field of sociology in recent years. Articles covering core issues such as race, poverty, violence, economics, pregnancy and abortion have been updated and expanded, and completely new articles have been written on topics such as the Internet, privacy and epidemiology.

Endangered Species, 2016 ed. , 2017

Discusses what has been done to protect endangered species in the United States and around the world, and examines the debate over what future actions are warranted.

Energy: Supplies, Sustainability, and Cost , 2017

Presents the latest information on U.S. energy consumption and production, compared with years past. Controversial issues such as the U.S. dependence on foreign oil, the possibility of exhausting fossil fuel supplies and the harm done to the environment by mining, drilling, and pollution are explored.

Environment , 2018

Examines the steps that have been taken to protect Earth's natural environment and the controversies that surround them.

The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology, 3rd ed., 2v, 2016

This resource covers the entire spectrum of psychology, including: notable people, theories and terms; landmark case studies and experiments; applications of psychology in advertising, medicine and sports; and career information.

Gambling , 2018

Presents in-depth information on how casino gambling, sports gambling, lotteries, and Internet gambling work, provides up-to-date financial data for each, and discusses the effects of these and other gambling activities on the communities in which they take place. Also discussed are American attitudes toward gambling.

Genetics & Genetic Engineering, 2017 ed. , 2018

Focuses on the social and moral issues surrounding genetics and genetic engineering.

Global Social Issues , 2013

This work covers a broad range of issues. It highlights the contemporary issues that affect societies around the world. Its emphasis of coverage in each chapter is less on the technical and conceptual aspects of the issue at hand and more on its social ramifications.

Grieving for Dummies® , 2007

This book provides readers with coping and recovery strategies for dealing with the loss of a loved one. Practical suggestions for moving through the phases, stages, and tasks of grieving are also included.

Growing Old in America , 2018

Explores the current condition of growing old in the United States. Includes the economic status of older people; Medicare and Medicaid; the living arrangements of older adults; working and retirement; and the education levels, voting trends, and political behavior of older Americans. Physical and mental health problems; drug and alcohol abuse; care for seniors; crime; and death and dying are also covered.

Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth, 2017 ed. , 2018

This volume focuses on the social and moral issues surrounding America's youth.

Gun Control , 2017

Explores various aspects of gun control in the United States. Includes information on firearms laws, firearms and crimes, guns and youth, public attitudes toward gun control and gun control laws.

Guns in America , 2017

A national debate continues to rage in regard to 2nd amendment rights in contemporary society. This collection will deal with concerns about domestic violence committed by guns, the ramifications of a widely armed citizenry, the government's failure to pass comprehensive gun legislation, as well as police brutality, strong gun lobbies, open carry laws, home-grown terrorism, the recent rise of fatal shootings of black men by police, and the Orlando massacre. From domestic terrorism to the Black Lives Matter movement articles in this title reflect differences in policy views on the subject in the longstanding debate around gun rights and gun control.

Happy Retirement: The Psychology of Reinvention , 2015

This guide uses psychological research, infographics, and illustrations to provide readers with retirement planning advice.

Health & Wellness, 2016 ed.

Examines health and wellness among Americans, including the ways in which illness is currently prevented, identified, and treated. Describes the most common types of chronic, degenerative, genetic, and infectious diseases, as well as the concepts of mental health and illness. Covers both traditional and alternative medicine.

Healthcare System , 2017

Examines the state of the nation's health care system, the education and training of health care providers, and the various types of health care institutions. The ever increasing cost of health care, prevalence of insurance, mental health care and a comparison of health care throughout the world are also covered.

HIV/AIDS , 2016

Includes information on the nature of AIDS/HIV and the AIDS epidemic; symptoms and transmittal; patterns and trends in AIDS/HIV surveillance; populations at risk; children, adolescents, and AIDS/HIV; AIDS/HIV cost and treatment; people living with AIDS/HIV; testing, prevention, and education; HIV and AIDS worldwide; and knowledge, awareness, behavior and opinion of those affected by AIDS/HIV.

Immigration , 2016

America's role as a refuge for the world's downtrodden and politically persecuted has become part of a coalescing sense of patriotism and American identity. However, immigration is also a complex, controversial issue, and immigration policy and public opinion on the issue were deeply influenced by racism, xenophobia, and fear. For as much as many Americans embraced the nation's role as a home for political asylees and took patriotic pride in the nation's cultural diversity, immigrants have also been consistently targeted and maligned as potentially dangerous, economically detrimental, and culturally destructive. With each generation, there have been some who favor isolationism, retaining America's economic and social bounty for those born in the nation, rather than spreading the benefits of American citizenship among new generations of immigrants. Reconciling the nation's ideological role with the financial and social burden of immigration is the underlying challenge behind the immigration debate, and it is a struggle that has been part of the nation's history since the beginning.

Improving Your Relationship for Dummies® , 2010

Provides expert advice and support for building and maintaining a long-lasting, communicative relationship. Packed with key information on managing change, successful cohabitation, overcoming jealousy, and igniting passion, this guide also includes worksheets designed to get you and your partner thinking and working together.

Legal and Illegal Immigration, 2017 ed. , 2018

This volume focuses on the social and moral issues surrounding legal and illegal immigration.

Living with an Illness in the Family , 2016

This resource addresses the practical changes that result when a family member falls ill and guides readers through the emotional process of dealing with the illness of a loved one.

Medicare , 2015

This guide explains the benefits, rules, and processes of Medicare. It also discusses the history of the program, coverage of the prescription drug program, Part D, closing coverage gaps, and the future of Medicare.

Mourning a Death in the Family , 2016

This book discusses the variety of forms that grief can take. It reminds readers that everybody has different responses to the death of a loved one and that those responses themselves change over time. Also discussed is the impact that the loss of a family member can have on the family members who remain. The concluding chapter discusses ways to memorialize and remember family members who have passed away.

National Security , 2017

Covers formation of the Department of Homeland Security, increased security measures at airports, the enactment of the Patriot Act of 2001, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Provides the history of national security in the United States; descriptions of the various conventional and nonproliferation treaties and regimes; and information on countries of concern to the United States.

Native Peoples of the World , 2013

This work examines the world's indigenous peoples, their cultures, the countries in which they reside, and the issues that impact these groups. It highlights the complex relationships between native groups and the physical and social environments in which they live

Race and Ethnicity in America, 2018 ed.

Examines the differences between minority groups and white Americans across the economic, political, and social spectrums. Explores the experience of African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Americans and other minority groups living in the United States.

Racial Tensions in a "Post-Racial" Age , 2016

Race is a complex phenomenon, both biological and sociological, involving the development and maintenance of human subgroups. From an evolutionary perspective, all humans belong to a single species, Homo sapiens. Over thousands of years of isolation and independent development, different groups of humans evolved to have different physical characteristics, forming the basis of what humans later called "race". Because all humans are the same species, the physical differences between individuals in different "racial" groups are largely superficial physical variations rather than substantial genetic variations. However, amplified through cultural divergence, these minor physical differences in the human body have fueled some of the most influential, destructive, and creative events in human history.

Representative American Speeches 2014-2015 , 2015

Representative American Speeches 2014-2015 reflects current trends in American thought, from uplifting commencement speeches delivered on campuses of U.S. colleges and universities to biting political speeches from the halls of Congress.

Representative American Speeches 2015-2016 , 2016

Representative American Speeches 2015-2016 reflects current trends in American thought, from uplifting commencement speeches delivered on campuses of U.S. colleges and universities to biting political speeches from the halls of Congress.

Rethinking Work , 2017

In the twenty-first century, working culture has been heavily influenced by technological innovation. The computing boom of the 1990s created a wealth of new occupations and modes of productivity, while simultaneously making a host of once common occupations rare or obsolete. There has also been a shift in priorities in the United States since the 2000s, with an emergent focus on well-being and fulfillment in the workplace and a simultaneous surge of interest in ways to make the workplace more creative and innovative. The 2000s have also seen a vast expansion of many industries thanks to the opening of international markets through the Internet and thus, many formerly isolated companies now have the potential to compete in global markets. While the advent of the Digital Age has seen numerous world-changing innovations that have modernized the working world, arguably for the better, persistent economic and social inequities remain and present a challenge for those looking to create better, more egalitarian, or more harmonious futures.

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Marriage, Family, and Couples Counseling , 2017

This encyclopedia aids readers in understanding the full scope and diversity of theories, approaches and techniques and how they address various life events within the unique dynamics of families, couples and related interpersonal relationships.

Social Issues in America , 2013

An encyclopedia of the social issues, movements, conditions and policies of the United States

Social Security , 2015

This guide covers the history of Social Security, the traditional age requirement, disability and survivor benefits, and the future of the program.

Social Skills , 2015

This book helps readers understand and hone the social skills necessary for success. Although the essays offer advice applicable to many aspects of life, the focus is primarily on the workplace. The essays guide readers in effective communication and conduct, emphasizing the characteristics of verbal, nonverbal, and written communication; stress the importance of ethics and etiquette; and provide tips for conflict resolution and teamwork.

Social Welfare: Fighting Poverty & Homelessness, 2018 ed.

This volume focuses on the social and moral issues surrounding America's poverty and the homeless.

Space Exploration, 2016 ed. , 2017

Examines numerous aspects of space exploration. Presents the facts on space exploration's successes and failures and the questions that surround them.

Sports in America , 2018

Explores the role of sports in American society. Covers participation and attendance at sporting events; the sports industry; illegal gambling and performance-enhancing drugs; and student athletes.

The Supreme Court , 2015

This book explores the Supreme Court from a variety of perspectives, beginning with how the court does its work and proceeding to look at the current court: the individual justices, their complex interactions with and influences on their colleagues, their jurisprudence — that is, the principles and philosophies that govern their thinking — and how their opinions, concurrences, and dissents not only apply constitutional law but shape it. Faith in the integrity of the justices is of the utmost importance to the court's legitimacy in the eyes of the public. As the Pew Research Center's analysis has shown, citizens may approve or disapprove of the court depending on some combination of their personal circumstances — education and religious beliefs, for example — and their political persuasion. If we are to maintain a functioning democracy "under law," however, disapproval cannot spill over into a full-fledged loss of confidence in the court's legitimacy, for the court "says what the law is," as Marshall reminds us.

Surveillance : U.S. National Debate Topic 2015-2016 , 2015

Surveillance is a key feature of modern American life. Toll booths monitor drivers on the interstate, and social media gather information from users for marketing data. Many people are unaware that when they use websites like Google and Amazon they enter into an agreement that allows retailers to track them for commercial purposes. In the name of national security, the government gathers information on most citizens. Surveillance, particularly government surveillance, constitutes one of the great social and legal tensions of the twenty-first century. How do we embrace technology's magnificent, egalitarian promise of equal access to information for all citizens and use state-of-the-art surveillance tactics that can promote safe communities while also upholding traditional civil liberties and individual privacy?

Surviving Family Violence , 2016

This text teaches about the warning signs and manifestations-physical, emotional, psychological, and economic-of domestic violence. Inclusion of the often-overlooked topics of elder abuse and violence against LGBTQ youth makes this text indispensable. Finally, a discussion of ways to report family violence wraps up this essential tome.

Transform Tomorrow: Awakening the Super Saver in Pursuit of Retirement Readiness , 2013

This book investigates why so many Americans are at risk of out-living their savings. The author draws inspiration from successful behavior change campaigns to identify the drivers of change, context and beliefs, and how they can be successfully employed to boost retirement savings rates.

The Transformation of American Cities , 2015

After a half-century of economic stagnation and population loss, signs of an American urban renaissance have become evident in the 2010s. Long maligned as dangerous and polluted, cities have in recent years experienced dropping crime rates and are increasingly popular as laboratories for sustainable development. Though the revitalization trend is new and potentially transient, city planners, administrators, politicians, and urban activists are enthusiastically embracing this increase in popularity and promoting cities as vibrant centers for diversity, cultural exchange, and social/political innovation.

U.S. – China Relations , 2016

U.S. – China Relations examines the National Forensic League's 2016/2017 Policy Debate resolution: "The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People's Republic of China." This volume will explore various issues related to this complex debate - from reforming aspects of U.S./China trade to assisting China in negotiating ongoing concerns over Taiwan and Tibet, improving human rights conditions, and protecting the rights of indigenous populations within China. Other questions explored will include how to better understand and manage China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea and other parts of Asia, how to work with China to develop sustainable energy and resource policies, and how best for the countries to assist one another in confronting the threat posed by terrorism worldwide. Myriad economic considerations - from labor to inflation and currency exchange - will also be examined in order to give a broad picture of this multifaceted matter.

Water: A Limited Resource, 2017 ed. , 2018

This volume focuses on the social and moral issues surrounding water resources.

Weight in America: Obesity, Eating Disorders, and Other Health Risks, 2016 ed. , 2017

Provides information from academic and governmental sources on every aspect of overweight, obesity, and eating disorders, including their prevalence in the United States, their consequences, public opinion about them and methods of combating them.

Whistleblowers , 2015

This volume contains a broad array of whistleblowing. Key topics include privacy rights, legal freedom, the nature of dissent, and matters concerning the media. Whether reading about the high-profile cases of Snowden and Manning or cases that will never reach the Supreme Court, the reader will discover a broad spectrum of opinion on these issues, issues that are certain to continue to dominate the national discourse.

Women in America , 2018

Explores the lives of women in American society. Includes information on women's demographic trends, educational achievements, employment, financial status, parental responsibilities, political roles, victimization and health issues.

World Poverty, 2016 ed. , 2017

Examines the forms that poverty takes around the world, its many causes, the serious negative consequences that it has for individuals and societies and the effort to eliminate it.

Your Friends and Your Family , 2016

This book focuses on adolescents, who have to negotiate changing relationships with families and friends as they grow into young adulthood. Discusses how to handle general family disputes, nourish relationships with friends, and get along with siblings. Advice for healthy and safe socializing and recreation outside of the sphere of one's family is also offered.

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