Reviews by subject area

Housing: from fundamental principles to policies

Review

Housing: from fundamental principles to policies

Juny 2019

Social Inclusion
Monstserrat Pareja-Eastaway, director of the Master’s Degree in Cultural Management at the University of Barcelona

What is the role of the public sector in access to housing? Can public policies act as a counterweight to the market? These two books examine the question from the European and United States viewpoint.

Inequality: The Costs to Families

Review

Inequality: The Costs to Families

December 2018

Social Inclusion
Frances Goldscheider, University Professor of Sociology, emerita, Brown University

How do economic problems affect family stability? The books reviewed tackle changes in gender roles at work and the instability generated by socioeconomic inequality.

The arts and the advancement of the economy and society

Review

The arts and the advancement of the economy and society

February 2019

Culture
David Throsby, Professor of Economics, Macquarie University, Australia

What relationship exists between art and economics? We present two books that study the importance of creativity and innovation in the arts, as well as how art contributes to economic development.  

Actions against inequality for improving children's social opportunities

Review

Actions against inequality for improving children's social opportunities

September 2016

Social Inclusion Education
Dr. Michael Pratt, Psychology Department, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario

These two works analyse, from the angles of psychology and sociology respectively, the increase in social opportunities for underprivileged children. The first proposes acting on the environment and the second, on individual capabilities. 

The dismal science of parenting

Review

The dismal science of parenting

September 2016

Education
Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge

How should we care for our children? The discipline of Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, contrasts with the experimental extravagances of Dalton Conley and his Parentology. However, the two share a competitive vision of childhood that focuses on social approval.

Class is under your skin

Review

Class is under your skin

September 2016

Culture
Koen van Eijck, Erasmus University Rotterdam

High, middle or working class? Today’s society is demanding new categories. Based on the results of a survey carried out in the United Kingdom, Mike Savage goes beyond labels to explore how the concept of social class is evolving.

Between complacency and a self-defeating dream

Review

Between complacency and a self-defeating dream

November 2017

Culture
Ruth Towse, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom

The two books reviewed share concerns regarding the decline of the USA and show the problems facing the country. From different perspectives, both reach the same diagnosis regarding American society and the danger that threatens democracy.

Perspectives on cultural participation in Europe

Review

Perspectives on cultural participation in Europe

January 2018

Culture
Antonio Ariño Villarroya, University of Valencia

This book, reviewed for the Social Observatory of "la Caixa", aims to measure participation in cultural activities on a European level, as well as promote them to contribute to social inclusion and active citizenship.

The State and the Innovation Effort

Review

The State and the Innovation Effort

September 2017

Science
Melanie Smallman, University College, London

From an economic viewpoint, innovation is considered to be an engine of growth because of its capacity to generate wealth and employment, a focus that has gained prominence since the start of the financial crisis in 2008. This review by the “la Caixa” Social Observatory comments on two books that analyse this issue from very different perspectives. 

The psychosociology of climate change

Review

The psychosociology of climate change

May 2017

Science
Christian Oltra, Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology Research (CIEMAT) and Universitat de Barcelona.

Climate change is a very complex problem, and its possible solutions may not be a matter of true or false, but of better or worse. We review two books that talk about how this debate is ceasing to be a technical and rational question to become a question of values and lifestyles.