Social Sciences

Induced abortion, in contrast to spontaneous abortion, is the deliberate termination of an established pregnancy. Induced abortion is a universal phenomenon, present in every known culture—literate or preliterate, primitive or modern. What has differed has been the safety of the methods used; how widespread the practice has been, especially relative to contraception and infanticide; and […]

ABORTION RIGHTS (Social Science)

Abortion (also known as induced abortion, to distinguish it from miscarriage) is the intentional termination of a pregnancy prior to the time when the embryo or fetus is viable. Abortion rights refers to the claim that abortion is a liberty that is or ought to be protected by law. INTERNATIONAL ABORTION LAWS Internationally, abortion is […]


During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the dominant economic philosophy was mercantilism, which advocated severe restrictions on import and aggressive efforts to increase export. The resulting export surplus was supposed to enrich the nation through the inflow of precious metals. Adam Smith (1776), who is regarded as the father of modern economics, countered mercantilist ideas […]


The consumption function, a key behavioral relationship in macroeconomics, was first introduced by John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) in 1936. While Keynes offered no precise functional formulation of the propensity to consume (in his original terminology), his analysis has come to be associated with a simple version of the consumption function that embodies only the more […]


The term industrial accidents refers to events involving unintended injury, harm, or damage that occur unexpectedly in the process of industrial production. Definitions of what an accident is and theories concerning industrial accidents have evolved over time, and have differed depending on social context. Preindustrial workplaces were largely unregulated by the state. Tom Dwyer (1991) […]


In the context of education, accountability refers to the concept that schools are responsible for ensuring that students meet agreed-upon standards of academic achievement. While governmental entities claim accountability is essential for the allocation of resources and the evaluation of policies and budgets, the term has taken on several distinct meanings. The principal dilemma was […]


Economists have used the term accumulation of capital to express several conceptual ideas in economics. Avoiding those having to do with obtaining more money, more bonds, or more stocks, two principal uses remain: an increase in the amount of physical means of production within an economy or its firms, or an increase in the power […]

ACHIEVEMENT (Social Science)

The modern scientific study of achievement began with Henry Murray’s seminal study of basic human needs, Explorations in Personality (1938). His definition of achievement, influential in all subsequent work on the subject, was "To accomplish something difficult. To master, manipulate or organize physical objects, human beings, or ideas. To do this as rapidly and as […]


The black-white achievement gap refers to disparities between African American (black) and European American (white) students on educational outcomes that include standardized test scores, grade-point averages, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment and completion rates. On each of these measures, white students typically outperform their black peers. While scholars have studied the gap in […]

ACTING WHITE (Social Science)

African American adolescents sometimes ridicule their peers for behaving in ways they identify as characteristic of whites. A variety of behaviors may trigger this response: manner of speech and dress, choice of television shows or sports, and, most troubling, demonstrating a commitment to academic success by participating in class, studying hard, and enrolling in advanced […]