The Global Enterprise: Social Scientists and Their Work around the World, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Global Enterprise

Social Scientists and Their Work around the World, 1st Edition

By James D. Wright


190 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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There are approximately 200 nations on Earth, and the social sciences are being practiced in each one, yet too little of this global enterprise is known to Western, particularly American, social scientists. Drawing upon five years of experience as Editor-in-Chief of a major international encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences, James D. Wright provides social scientists a representative sampling of the work of their international colleagues.

The volume includes investigations into a myriad of questions. How have Muslims accommodated to life in Western societies? What were the demographic consequences of World War I? What are the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of hosting a cruise ship terminal? Has the situation of Honduran street children improved in the past two decades? What is the state of public health in Africa? Wright shows how social scientists outside the United States have answered all of these questions and many more.

From efforts at historical preservation in the People's Republic of China to the sexual abuse of children in New Zealand, and from earthquake research in Japan to network jihadi terrorism, The Global Enterprise includes research that will intrigue anyone interested in what social scientists contribute to our understanding of contemporary social trends and advances, both locally and globally. Key research is underway in social science around the world, and it is far past time that Western social scientists learned of and learned from these findings.


Searching for reliable knowledge about human behavior and social reality, and savoring the promise of generalizations and even universal laws, we often wish we could speak in languages other than our own and live in societies and cultures other than our own. Through the magic of film and sabbatical, we glimpse a little of that wider world. Now James D. Wright, Editor-in-Chief of the monumental International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Second Edition (2015), has provided a sampling of 25 original essays, each discussing a recent research article written by a non-U.S. scholar, based on non-U.S. data, and published in non-U.S. journals, and each summary is accompanied by Wright’s valuable context and insight. The result is an intellectual feast. A Baedeker to the global soul of social science. I will not again visit topic or country in Wright’s book without taking the relevant chapter.

Guillermina Jasso, Silver Professor and Professor of Sociology, New York University

The Global Enterprise is a truly global book that opens our horizons to what the world of good social sciences has got to offer. It is comprehensive, issue- and evidence-based, and concise. A book of this nature cannot be easily written, except by someone of Professor Wright’s superb calibre and vast editorial experience. I am most impressed by his masterly command of social scientific issues throughout the world and his straightforward language and witty writing that enable many larger lessons well learnt by any reader! Highly recommended.

Henry Yeung, Distinguished Professor, National University of Singapore

Jim Wright’s masterful global vision informs this collection of short, informative commentaries on current research by social scientists from around the world. Clearly the social science stage is no longer owned by scholars in just "the West." Social scientists located outside Euro-America are researching and writing about their own regions and providing insights beyond them. The world is a better place for their endeavors and for Wright’s efforts to bring that work to our attention.

Barbara D. Miller, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, The George Washington University

Drawing on his extensive knowledge of global scholarship networks, Jim Wright offers an insightful and panoramic view of international social science. In this very accessible, yet highly perceptive, book one can learn a great deal about the richness of social science analysis all over the globe - from the Filipino Remittances, to the Erased of Slovenia to the Public Health in Nigeria to the Renationalization in Contemporary Argentina and further afield. The Global Enterprise is a little gem of a book that very successfully challenges the entrenched parochialism of the Western academic canon.

Siniša Maleševic, Professor of Sociology, University College Dublin

Table of Contents


Part I. Studies from Asia

1. Filipino Remittances

2. Can Tourism Solve the Poverty Problem? A Case Study from China

3. The Struggle over Historical Preservation in the People’s Republic of China

4. Japan’s Falling Birth Rate and What to Do about It

5. Japan’s Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011

Part II. Studies from Central and Eastern Europe

6. The Erased of Slovenia

7. The Peasantry in Post-Socialist Hungary

8. Physical Education and Social Policy in Hungary

9. The Sociology of Everyday Life in Russia and Ukraine

10. The Russian Middle Class

11. Transylvanian Demography and World War I

Part III. Studies from Australasia

12. How to Preserve Indigenous Languages: Twitter!

13. Sexual Abuse of Children in New Zealand

Part IV. Studies from Africa

14. Is Hatred of the "Other" Universal? The Curious Case of African Immigrants in South Africa

15. Gender and Urban Agriculture in Nigeria

16. Public Health in Nigeria: TB, HIV, Depression, and Quality of Life

Part V. Studies from the Middle East

17. Network Terrorism and the International Jihadi Movement

18. Muslims in Europe

19. Arab Sociology

20. Social Media and the Arab Spring

Part VI. Studies from Latin America

21. The Maquiladoras of Mexico: Disaster or Economic Salvation?

22. Renationalization in Contemporary Argentina

23. Street Children in Honduras

Part VII. Studies from Elsewhere

24. Cruise Ship Economics and Sociology

25. Indigenous Rights and Resource Governance in the Circumpolar Regions

26. The Lessons Learned



About the Author

James D. Wright is an author, educator, and the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of Central Florida. He has written twenty-eight books and research monographs, most recently Lost Souls: Manners and Morals in Contemporary American Society (Routledge, 2018), and more than 300 journal articles, book chapters, essays, reviews, and polemics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General