- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe: Statistical Database
As anyone who does comparative social science research knows, finding reliable data sources in one place can be a difficult task. Fortunately, there is the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). On the UNECE website, visitors can find data related to macroeconomics, gender, and transport for all of the countries in Europe. First time visitors may want to start by reading the “About this database” overview, and then taking a look at the summary statistics for the past several years in the “Facts and Figures” area. Moving on, visitors can view tables and statistics that relate to industrial production, price indices, forest resources, and biological diversity. Visitors to the site can also register for free to create their own comparative data tables and save them for future use and consultation. Also, visitors can view the UNECE document library and look over a list of related links.
- Measuring Underemployment Among Military Spouses [pdf]
What is it like to be a military spouse? It can present some rather unique challenges including underemployment. This 111-page report by researchers Nelson Lim and David Schulker on underemployment among military spouses was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the work was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute. The work examines the extent and causes of underemployment among military spouses, and it also looks at their “look-alikes”, who in this case happen to be a group of similar civilian wives. Their research indicates that military wives are much more likely not to be in the labor force, and they are also more likely to have relatively high levels of education for their jobs when compared to their civilian counterparts. Visitors will want to read over all seven chapters of the report, and they can also consult the indices, graphs, and helpful charts.
- South Asian Oral History Project [pdf]
Oral histories are an important way of telling a community’s history, and this intriguing project from the University of Washington Libraries sheds new light on a very interesting aspect of history in the Pacific Northwest. The goal of the South Asian Oral History Project (SAOHP) is “to record pan-South Asian immigrant experiences in the Pacific Northwest using the medium of oral history.” The project began in 2005, and the interviews here include immigrants who moved to the area from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka from the 1950s to the present. Visitors can view transcripts of the interviews at their leisure, and good background material can be found in the section titled “A librarian’s gift: Oral history project preserves memories of South Asian immigrants”. The interviews are quite fascinating, and they include memories of studying at the University of Washington, attending the1962 Seattle World’s Fair, and the challenges immigrants faced when they arrived.
- Voices from Afghanistan
The Library of Congress has a wonderful and timely exhibit featured on their website that allows the world to hear from the people of war-torn Afghanistan. Their voices are heard in the letters that they wrote to Radio Azadi, the Afghan outlet for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. There are many themes expressed in the letters, but what can be found throughout is that there is some joy in their lives, despite everything, and that there are many similarities between the desires, hopes and fears of Afghanis, and those of people of any other country. That may sound cliché, but helping to resolve conflict there depends in part on how Afghans are viewed by the rest of the world. This enlightening exhibit has two “Featured Items” of particular cultural interest, which are “The Tradition of Accordion Books” and “The Tradition of Scrolls.” The links to these two items are on the homepage, near the bottom part of the page. The “Themes” area, found in the middle of the page, combines the letters into groups. The thematic groups include “Requests for Action & Assistance”, “The Question of Employment” and “Crossing the Technology Frontier”.
[Source: The Scout Report, Volume 17, Number 9, March 12, 2010]