Press coverage from other years
SIRC in the News
Press coverage from 2004
- Western Mail — 21.12.2004
Men Now Brave Enough To Open Up And Shed A Tear. Kate Fox, social anthropologist and co-author of the report, said, 'Crying at the birth of a child is one of the most natural acts in the world. Increasingly, it seems that the modern man is comfortable shedding tears on certain occasions, particularly with his wife or girlfriend.'
- Express — 10.12.2004
In A Word, Are You Sexy, Smart, Lazy Or Just Plain Ordinary?. Experts from the Social Issues Research Centre based in Oxford analysed the anagrams to see the personality traits behind them. The centre's Peter Marsh said: "People's responses to anagrams, for example Scrabble tiles, will be influenced by what is known as their 'attentional set'. "This is formed by their experiences, interests, personalities, habits and so on. If you have a particularly high sex drive, you will probably be seeing a lot of sexually related words. We might also expect the occupation of a professional person to be reflected in the words they identify."
- Agence France Presse — 09.12.2004
Gran Bretaña sin la BBC no sería jamás la misma. La BBC, que anunció esta semana una drística reducción de sus efectivos, forma parte desde hace décadas de la vida cotidiana de los britínicos, que la consideran como un miembro de la familia, sin el cual su vida no sería nunca la misma. "El apodo de la BBC ha sido siempre 'tía', y eso resume nuestra relación", explicó a la AFP la antrópologa britínica Kate Fox, autora del libro "Observando a los ingleses". Según ella, la BBC estí incluso mís enraizada en la psiquis de los britínicos que la monarquía. "Puedo imaginarme a Gran Bretaña sin la monarquía, pero no sin la BBC", afirmó Fox. "Y no es que los británicos no critiquemos a la BBC, porque nos encanta criticar, y quejarnos. Pero es como cuando nos quejamos de un miembro de la familia al que respetamos y queremos mucho, y al que sólo nosotros tenemos derecho de criticar, y nadie más". "Y el impuesto que pagamos por poseer un aparato de televisión una parte del cual va para la BBC lo consideramos la jubilación que pagamos a la tía", notó la antrópologa. El grupo de radio y televisión británico forma parte intrínsica del tejido social de la nación, uniendo a las diferentes regiones, comunidades, generaciones y profesiones, señala.
- SDA – Servizio di base in Italiano — 09.12.2004
Internet: l'ultima moda hi-tech sono gli odori online. Anche se la NTT sembra essere all'avanguardia rispetto a altre societa', l'idea degli odori via Internet non e' del tutto nuova. Alcuni mesi fa la BBC aveva reso noto che nel Regno Unito la Telewest Broadband stava sperimentando un sistema per inviare e-mail profumate.
"Potremmo aggiungere un po' di realismo a un mondo tutto virtuale come quello di Internet", avevano detto i vertici della Telewest. Anche la societa' americana Trinsex all'inizio dell'anno aveva annunciato di avere in progettazione un accessorio per il computer caricato con 20 profumi che, mischiandosi tra loro, potevano riprodurre oltre 60 odori diversi. La nuova tecnologia incuriosisce non solo gli informatici ma anche gli studiosi del comportamento umano. "Il senso dell'olfatto incide profondamente sulle nostre emozioni", ha detto l'antropologa Kate Fox, direttrice del Centro di ricerca sui problemi sociali di Oxford.
- Times — 04.12.2004
What a swell party this is. Why is it so difficult for Britons? Kate Fox, a social anthropologist and the author of Watching the English, says that, sadly, parties can bring out the cultural worst in us. "We have a dysfunctional attitude towards alcohol. Controlled experiments have been done where English people were given alcohol and asked to get drunk, but the drinks were alcohol-free. Nevertheless, they still became disinhibited, unruly and, in the case of young men, aggressive." Our party pranks are rather stereotyped, too, says Fox. "We have a culture of overindulgence, but while it's supposed to be 'letting your hair down', it is actually within predetermined boundaries, like the way everyone is supposed to photocopy their bottoms at office parties."
- Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia) — 23.11.2004
Man enough to cry. In the UK, a recent study found British men were much more ready to openly shed a tear than their fathers and grandfathers. The survey of 2000 Brits by the Social Issues Research Centre, found 30 per cent of British males studied had cried in the past month, while only 2 per cent couldn't remember when they last cried. The study found 77 per cent of men considered crying in public increasingly acceptable. Almost half the British men surveyed shed a tear over a sad movie, book or TV program. Self-pity started 17 per cent crying and 9 per cent sobbed at weddings.
- Guardian— 20.11.2004
Under the influence. The timelessness of our desire to get drunk has led anthropologists such as Kate Fox, director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, to speculate about the British character. She concluded that we are all suffering from a "congenital sociability disorder", a disease whose symptoms are akin to a kind of autism combined with agoraphobia. In plain talk, the British are uniquely buttoned up and starched stiff. Animal watcher Desmond Morris says that if we were monkeys we would be picking imaginary fleas out of each other's fur, in an act of "social grooming", a pretext for prolonging social encounters. Instead we have for centuries propped up the bar.
- Daily Mail — 18.11.2004
The plastic generation. 'It's akin to the feeling you have when you know you look incredible in an outfit, but you get a dose of that high every single morning,' she says. Her attitude does not surprise Kate Fox, social anthropologist and director of the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre. She believes that women such as Sian are under huge pressure to achieve physical perfection. 'Young women are comparing themselves with the sort of unattainable ideals that celebrities represent. 'In 1917, the physically perfect woman was about 5ft 4in tall and weighed nearly 10st. Even 25 years ago, top models and beauty queens weighed only 8 per cent less than the average woman. Now they weigh 23 per cent less. 'But the current ideal for women is achievable by less than 5 per cent of the female population – and that's just in terms of weight and size. If you want the ideal shape, face, etc, it's probably more like 1 per cent.' Hence the boom in plastic surgery – a world where anything, literally, is possible.
- Country Life — 10.11.2004
Pubs 'Vital' to Communities. Pubs are more central to local communities than churches, and going to the pub is the nation's favourite pastime, pub group InnSpired has said. Social anthropologist Kate Fox, Co-Director of the Social Issues Research Centre, … believes that pubs are central to British life and culture, and vital for sustaining local communities: 'We know that over three quarters of the adult population go to pubs, but this new research helps us to understand why the pub is so popular and so important. The study highlights the essential social role of the pub – its crucial function as a facilitator of social interaction and social bonding.'
- Calgary Herald (Alberta) — 10.11.2004
Britons put their faith in pubs. Kate Fox, co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre, said: "The bar of the pub is one of the very few public places in England where it is socially acceptable to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. At the bar, the normal unwritten rules of privacy and reserve are suspended. Friendly conversation with strangers is regarded as entirely appropriate and normal behaviour." The unwritten rules and rituals of pub culture -- round-buying, nicknames, in-jokes, friendly arguments, banter and teasing -- facilitate social bonding.
- Press Association — 10.11.2004
Pubs 'The Heart Of Local Communities'. Kate Fox, co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre, was asked by the pub chain to comment on the findings. She said: "The survey confirms the status of the pub as a central part of British life and culture, a unique institution, vital for sustaining local communities. "We know that over three-quarters of the adult population go to pubs, and over a third are 'regulars', visiting the pub at least once a week, but this new research helps us to understand why the pub is so popular, and so important.
- Daily Star — 09.11.2004
Pa Pa Voom. Children have revealed they reckon dads make better drivers than mums. But many still think men go too fast and can be dangerous on the road. Overall, 60% of children said dad was "really good". One in five said he drove too fast and 10% said he was "dangerous" in the survey commissioned by toy car maker Hot Wheels. Peter Marsh, of the Social Issues Research centre, said last night: "Women are, in fact, more careful drivers than men. "But for kids – and boys in particular – there is no problem in seeing dad's driving as both 'really good' and 'fast' and even a bit 'dangerous'."
- Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia) — 01.11.2004
Your baby's smarter? Well here's the test. A recent study by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, England, found that although most parents know when children should begin crawling and walking, they are less sure about other important milestones such as recognising and naming shapes and colours. The questions have three possible answers. For instance, does a child treat a toy telephone like any other toy, show an interest in what it does, or pretend it's real? If a child treats it as a real telephone, putting it to their ear and pressing the buttons, their development is deemed to be at a more advanced stage.
- La Stampa — 31.10.2004
Polemica in Inghilterra Test d'intelligenza per i neonati Ma il quiz dello psicologo spaventa i genitori. Il ""Baby Development Test"", ovvero test di sviluppo dell'infante, commissionato a Dorothy Einon, una psicologa del University College di Londra, dall'azienda di giocattoli Fisher-Price, e' un quiz destinato ai bambini di eta' compresa tra sei mesi e un anno, basato sulla comprensione elementare del linguaggio, la consapevolezza di giocattoli e oggetti e l'interazione con essi. Ogni domanda ha tre possibili risposte, una delle quali dovrebbe avvicinarsi di piu' al comportamento del bambino. Stando a quanto dicono gli studiosi del Social Issues Research Centre di Oxford, il 75% dei genitori e' in grado di riconoscere le tappe dello sviluppo fisico del bambino, ma e' desideroso di valutare meglio se il piccolo abbia raggiunto un grado normale di sviluppo intellettuale per la sua eta'.
- Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia) — 30.10.2004
Test tells if your baby's brainy. A recent study by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford found that, while most parents know when children should start crawling and walking, they are less sure about other important milestones such as recognising and naming shapes and colours.
- Independent — 28.10.2004
Baby quiz aims to reassure parents about child's aptitude. In conjunction with the Social Issues Research Centre (Sirc), the company questioned 500 sets of parents last month. Researchers found that, while 90 per cent are confident they know when the physical milestones – such as crawling and walking – should happen, very few knew when the intellectual developmental landmarks – such as recognising and naming shapes and colours – should start. Dr Peter Marsh of Sirc explained: "The research indicates that 75 per cent of parents would like some sort of reassurance that their child is reaching developmental milestones at the expected time."
- Daily Mail — 28.10.2004
So you think your baby's brainy?. A recent study by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford found that, while most parents know when children should start crawling and walking, they are less sure about other important milestones such as recognising and naming shapes and colours.
- Daily Record — 28.10.2004
Is Your Baby A Genius?. Dr Peter Marsh,of the Social Issues Research Centre, added: 'While parents don't like to feel unnecessary pressure in an environment that is already pressured, the research indicates that 75 per cent of them would like some sort of reassurance that their child is reaching developmental milestones at the expected time.'
- Brown Daily Herald — 20.10.2004
Love Your Body Day aims to promote positive body images. According to the NOW Web site, an estimated 25 million women are compulsive overeaters, and approximately 80 percent of women want to lose weight. The Web site also quotes the U.K.-based Social Issues Research Centre as saying that over 80 percent of girls have been on a fad diet by the time they reach the fourth grade.
- Times — 28.09.2004
One wise monkey is all ears. Those watching Gordon Brown’s speech on television may have been forgiven for assuming that there was an invisible thread linking the Chancellor’s hands to the head of a man sitting behind him … The impression that Mr Brown was Mr Milburn’s puppeteer should not, however, be taken as any reflection of their private feelings, said Peter Marsh, co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford. "This is the life of a politician," he said. "Milburn must have known he was being watched, and he took pains to look attentive although not entirely pleased with the world, his mouth turned down."
- Pakistan Daily Times — 28.09.2004
British men weep but still a far cry from Americans. British men are abandoning their stiff upper lips but still do not wear their hearts on their sleeves like Americans, a new survey showed on Tuesday. When it comes to raw emotion, the once buttoned-up Brits are now happy to shed tears quite openly - but Italians can still "out-sob" them. "Thirty percent of all British males have cried in the last month. That is a very high figure," said Peter Marsh, director of the Social Issues Research Centre which took the emotional temperature of Britain.
- Washington Post — 27.09.2004
The Tracks of Our Tears. A man ain't supposed to cry. That's what Marvin Gaye sang when I was a child, and everyone I knew seemed to agree. Smokey Robinson had already explained that a man who desired respect had to restrict himself to crying "the tears of a clown when there's no one around." … A new study conducted by [the] Social Issues Research Centre suggests that men are finally learning the benefits of a good cry. The Centre polled 2,000 Britons over 18 and found that 77 percent of the men considered crying increasingly acceptable. A third of the male respondents said they cried at least once a month. The study compares those figures to American men, who supposedly cry about 1.4 times a month. Both groups are part of what study co-author Peter Marsh sees as a generational shift. His poll indicates that 63 percent of men in their 50s have never seen their father cry, compared with 44 percent of men ages 18 to 29.
- Sunday Times — 26.09.2004
Health: Official: driving makes you happy. Forget stress and lack of exercise - a new study shows that your car is good for you … The findings are also backed by Dr Peter Marsh, a psychologist and co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford. "We do get psychological satisfaction from being drivers. If a man has a good car, he would think better of himself, and that is good for his health," he says. "It is one of the few areas where we are in control of our lives. We make all the decisions and we are in our own territory."
- Hindustan Times — 22.09.2004
Good men cry at least once a month. Despite the advent of the metrosexual man, crying is considered an act inappropriate for men in India. But not so in Britain where a new study suggests that men are abandoning their stiff upper lips, though they still have to catch up with the Americans when it comes to wearing their hearts on their sleeves. "Thirty per cent of all British males have cried in the last month. That is a very high figure," said Peter Marsh, director of the Social Issues Research Centre which took the emotional temperature of Britain.
- Tribune India — 21.09.2004
British men shed stiff upper lip, weep. British men are abandoning their stiff upper lips but still do not wear their hearts on their sleeves like Americans, a new survey showed on Tuesday. When it comes to raw emotion, the once buttoned-up Brits are now happy to shed tears quite openly, but Italians can still "out-sob" them. "Thirty per cent of all British males have cried in the last month. That is a very high figure," said Peter Marsh, Director of the Social Issues Research Centre, which took the emotional temperature of Britain.
- Daily Mail — 20.09.2004
Why, for most men, there's no crying shame. He was once renowned for his stiff upper lip and strong reserve. But it seems the modern British male would rather express his emotions than bottle them up…The Social Issues Research Centre results show that when Matthew Pin-sent sobbed uncontrollably after winning Olympic gold for rowing in Athens, he was part of a wider trend. Peter Marsh, a psychologist and coauthor of the report, said it is no longer taboo for men to cry.
'It relates to changing attitudes in society,' he said. 'On a simple level, there's more women going to work. 'You have young men and young women working together on an equal footing and it is now more acceptable for them to take on traits associated with the opposite sex.
- The Gazette (Montreal) — 20.09.2004
Is that a tic or are you flirting with me? Bona fide studies, ranging from one published back in 1982 in the Journal of Personal and Social Psychology to a survey last year by the Social Issues Research Centre, a nonprofit group based in Oxford, England, all conclude men tend to perceive friendliness from women as seductive behaviour.
- Het Nieuwsblad — 20.09.2004
Britse man verandert af en toe in huilebalk. Wat meer is: een kwart houdt het niet bij een paar traantjes maar zet de kranen goed open. "Huilen wordt niet langer gezien als zwakte maar als een teken van gevoeligheid", aldus onderzoekers van het Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, dat het huilgedrag bij meer dan 2.000 mannen onderzocht, in opdracht van zakdoekjesfabrikant Kleenex. En zoals steeds in Engeland wordt dan David Beckham als voorbeeld erbij gesleurd "Als je je zoontje aan school afzet en huilt zoals Beckham, ben je daarom nog geen zwakkeling." Voor de Britse man, die vreest dat zijn mannelijkheid op het spel staat, rest er nog een schrale troost: vrouwen huilen nog drie keer zo vaak.
- Times — 19.09.2004
Blubbing? Hey, it’s a guy thing. The research, by Oxford’s Social Issues Research Centre, looked at more than 2,000 people over 18 and found 77% of men considered crying in public increasingly acceptable. Peter Marsh, director of the centre and co-author of the report, said: "Crying now can indicate sensitivity rather than weakness. Like with David Beckham, to cry because you’re dropping off your boy at nursery isn’t seen as weak."
- Daily Star — 18.09.2004
Matt and becks lead british blub brigade; real men do cry. Big boys DO cry – in their millions, it's been revealed. And it's not just rowers who win gold medals or footballing dads dropping their kids off at school. In fact, a whopping three-quarters of grown men think it is OK to blub as the famous British stiff upper lip is replaced by a wobbly bottom one – even for macho sportsmen like Matthew Pinsent and David Beckham. Now 77% of men, and 90% of women, think that such displays of male emotion are acceptable even over sad films or love songs, according to the Crying Game report from the Social Issues Research Centre.
- Express — 18.09.2004
A stiff upper lip is giving way to tears. The traditional British stiff upper lip is a thing of the past, with three-quarters of grown men saying it's all right to cry. All it takes is a sad movie or a soppy love song to trigger the tears, according to research. A report entitled The Crying Game, from the Social Issues Research Centre, has revealed that it's not just sportsmen and celebrities who turn on the waterworks.
- Times — 17.09.2004
Never a moment when Tony wanted to quit. [Cherie Blair's] performance was, according to social psychologists, as controlled and quiver-free as could be expected from a person with years of experience in the courtroom. Peter Marsh, of the Social Issues Research Centre, said that a supremely composed performance offered few if any pointers to the alleged "colossal strain" felt earlier this year in the Prime Minister’s houshold. "She is a barrister and those are the skills that mark you out," Dr Marsh said. "She was to the point, relaxed, and in control throughout." Describing Mrs Blair as noticeably careful with her words, he added that she had avoided any tricky subjects and taken the lead in the conversation when Lord Bragg’s comments were brought up.
- Agence France Presse — 11.09.2004
Defining the peas and queues of Englishness. Being English can be fraught with peril. Consider, for instance, the dilemma posed by peas. You'll get more per bite if you scoop them off your plate -- sensible, but you risk being seen as unrefined. It's better manners to spear 'em, fork-down -- but wouldn't that make you look a bit posh? Of such often bewildering rules the English are made, says social anthropologist Kate Fox, who spent three years studying her own people the way her peers study primative jungle tribes, and then wrote a book about it. "Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour" finds that, at the core of Englishness, is "social dis-ease" -- what Fox calls a "congenital disorder" inhibiting normal, relaxed, uninhibited social interaction.
- Times — 10.09.2004
Healy hits the height of rudeness. It seems inconceivable that David Healy's gesture, for which the Northern Ireland forward was sent off, was lost in translation by the Italian referee, according to a leading chartered psychologist. Healy was given a second yellow card for his celebration after he had given Ireland a 2-0 lead over Wales on Wednesday evening. Peter Marsh, a director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, said that thrusting a fist in the air is commonly regarded as an insult throughout Europe, but it is even more ill-mannered in Italy.
- The Nation (Thailand) — 30.08.2004
Observing and studying our modern society – the Social Issues Research Centre. Vouching for the centre's seriousness is the fact that its reports, articles and publications have been mentioned or printed by newspapers such as the Times, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Guardian, Scientist, and by the BBC, to name but a few…Reflecting society at large a big current topic at SIRC is nutrition, diets and obesity. A whole area is devoted to it ' 'Diet and confusion through the ages' ' as well as a number of articles with titles such as Food Junkies, Killer Hamburgers Ride Again, and Poverty and Obesity. The whole site offers very interesting reading.
- Daily Mail — 28.08.2004
Can you tell if your child is a geek or a goth? An online guide has been drawn up by drugs campaign group Talk to Frank, to make teachers aware that gangstas, neds and trendies have replaced hippies, skinheads and punks as the youth factions of today. The group commissioned researchers to identify the main types of secondary school pupil according to their taste in music and clothes. Peter Marsh, director at the Social Issues Research Centre and author of the report, said: 'As they make the hormone-laden journey from child to adult, they forge a personal identity by first creating a social identity. Music taste and appearance are the obvious ways to define oneself, but the ways in which young people talk about themselves to their peers also helps them to create a sense of self..'
- Times Education Supplement — 28.08.2004
Ten Tribes Who Don't Go To War. Dr Peter Marsh, a psychologist and director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, was commissioned to write the report for FRANK, a Government-funded drugs information service. The study's chief finding was that one in five of those surveyed believed their friends had pretended to take drugs to impress others.
- Community Care — 26.08.2004
Lies may inflate drug figures. Drug use among teenagers may not be as high as believed, new evidence suggests. According to research by Frank, the free national drugs information service provided by the Department of Health and the Home Office, one in five teenagers say their friends pretend to take drugs in order to "fit in with their tribe".
- Guardian — 23.08.2004
Teenagers fake drug-taking to 'fit in'. One fifth of teenagers questioned said their friends were pressurised into faking drug-taking, and the need to fit in with their peer group dictated their behaviour … Dr Peter Marsh, director of the Social Issues Research Centre and author of the Frank report, said: "Teenagers today learn to understand who they are by defining themselves through social bonds and affiliations with a peer group.
- BBC — 23.08.2004
Teens 'fake drug-use to fit in'. Teenagers are pretending to take drugs to look "cool", research has shown. Figures showed that 20% of teenagers questioned said their friends were pressured into faking drug-taking in order to fit in with their peers. The report which questioned more than 1,000 11 to 18-year-olds across the UK, also said boys were twice as likely as girls to pretend they took drugs. Almost half the youngsters questioned said the need to fit in with their group dictated their friends' behaviour.Dr Peter Marsh, director of the Social Issues Research Centre and author of the report, said: "Teenagers today learn to understand who they are by defining themselves through social bonds and affiliations with a peer group.
- Times — 23.08.2004
Tribal teens and a big lie about drugs. One fifth of teenagers pretend to have taken drugs to make themselves look cool, but do not in reality do anything of the kind, a government-backed study carried out throughout Britain suggests. The findings, likely to come as a huge relief to many parents, indicate that drugtaking is far less important to many teenagers than being seen to have the right fashion and music tastes and being able to "talk the talk" about drugs. "Just because your daughter is dressed in black, has a white face and has become a ‘goth’ and may talk about drugs, that does not mean that she is on an inexorable road to becoming a junkie. The two do not go together," Peter Marsh, the social psychologist who wrote the report, said.
- Morning Star — 23.08.2004
Lies may inflate drug figures. Drug use among teenagers may not be as high as believed, new evidence suggests. According to research by Frank, the free national drugs information service provided by the Department of Health and the Home Office, one in five teenagers say their friends pretend to take drugs in order to "fit in with their tribe".
- Times — 21.08.2004
Men drivers are just Stone Age hunters. A new insurance company specifically for women drivers says that male motorists are not the urbane sophisticates they think they are but, in many of their responses and reactions are similar to Neanderthals. It says that despite the mockery directed at female drivers, men are responsible for 97 per cent of dangerous driving incidents and commit 83 per cent of the nation’s speeding offences. Yet when asked about their driving most men claim to be models of politeness and precaution … Dr Peter Marsh of the Social Issues Research Centre, in a report entitled Sex Difference in Driving and Insurance Risk, says that there are psychological and evolutionary reasons why men exhibit far more risk-taking and aggressive behaviour than women on the road and why they don’t realise they are doing it.
- Sunday Times — 15.08.2004
Schoolgirls beat the boys at drinking. Teenage schoolgirls are drinking and smoking more than boys in the first evidence that the 'ladette' alcohol culture is seeping down into the younger generation. A report to be published this week shows that 44% of girls aged 14-15 have had at least one alcoholic drink in the week before the research was conducted, compared with 42% of boys. While more boys had drunk beer, girls had consumed alcopops, spirits and wine … Kate Fox, director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, said: "We would be much better calming down and putting alcohol on a par with coffee. There is nothing more attractive to a teenage girl than describing something as forbidden fruit."
- Times Higher Education Supplement — 23.07.2004
Profile; Sir John Krebs. Tony Blair praised Sir John for having been "robust in ensuring that the agency bases its advice on sound science". The Social Issues Research Centre described him as the perfect choice for the FSA, "a rational scientist with no political, commercial or ideological axes to grind".
- The International Herald Tribune — 22.07.2004
Binge drinking: a British disease? A controversial cure is to keep pubs open. Kate Fox, a social anthropologist who is co-director of the Social Issues Research Center at Oxford, said the British used alcohol as a way to justify unacceptable behavior -- in other words, they act like idiots and then blame the alcohol.
- The New York Times — 22.07.2004
British Worry That Drinking Has Gotten Out of Hand. Kate Fox of the Social Issues Research Center at Oxford, said ''One thing that is common to ambivalent drinking cultures is the belief that alcohol is a disinhibitor and makes us violent,'' said Ms. Fox, the author of ''Watching the English,'' a book exploring the nation's habits and quirks. The reality, she said, is more complicated: ''It certainly interferes with your motor functions and your ability to speak rationally, but it doesn't cause you to go up to people, say 'Oy, what are looking at?' and start punching them.''
- Birmingham Post — 10.07.2004
Books: A Culture's Social Mores Under Scrutiny; Watching The English. The Hidden Rules Of English Behaviour. By Kate. Kate Fox, a social anthropologist and co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, has dissected the unconscious codes that we live by to reveal what it is to be and English person. In forensic detail, she cleverly examines the unspoken rules of the invisible queue in the pub — there may be no orderly line, but we instinctively know who is next and woe betide anyone who dares be so un-English as to barge in before their turn.
- The News of the World — 27.06.2004
Here Chems Summer... Scientists have discovered exactly why we all love summer.Our five senses trigger the release of feelgood chemicals in the brain when they are tickled by pleasant sensations, say boffins from Oxford's Social Issues Research Centre. Seeing blue skies, hearing open-air music, smelling suntan lotion, tasting iced drinks and feeling sand between our toes cheer us up because they cause a rush of feelgood chemicals serotonin and dopamine, says the research conducted for drinks firm Pimms.
- Daily Star — 24.06.2004
Serve Up The Good Times. A new study found that Brits want the feelgood factor to get them through rainsoaked summers. The right type of sights, sounds and smells can trigger a chemical rush in the brain, making people more alert. The news comes from a new poll carried out by experts from Oxford's Social Issues Research Centre. Dr Peter Marsh, the director at SIRC, said: "It's quite clear that different aspects of summer spark very different responses in our brains."
- The Evening Standard (London) — 23.06.2004
What we love about summer. Scientists today highlight the things we like best about summer — revealing significant differences of opinion between the sexes. The researchers found that the single happiest memory of childhood summers was the opportunity to play outdoors, and the most summery thing about a holiday in Britain was an afternoon lazing in a pub garden. The research was carried out by Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford.
- Western Morning News — 05.06.2004
Oi! You in the white van, slow down a bit. Whether White Van Man really is such a bad driver is open to debate and a report commissioned by Renault UK from the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre found that, as with many negative stereotypes, the perception of White Van Man was a "gross caricature of reality".
- Western Mail — 31.05.2004
Working out the english. Kate Fox is a social anthropologist who has spent the last 10 years studying the habits of her fellow countrymen and women. Ignoring their intense love affair with privacy, she interviewed them in the street, watched them while they shopped, observed them in train stations, drank with them in public houses, even knocked on their front doors to ask them about their relationship with their houses and their garden gnomes.
- The Scientist — 24.05.2004
The Enormity of Obesity, Peter Marsh, a director at the Social Issues Research Centre, also is skeptical. "Obesity is most related to processes like urbanization and social change rather than to single factors," he says. "Some of the highest obesity rates are in places like Morocco and Uzbekistan. [These are] not countries where McDonald's has a particularly significant presence" … [David] Ashton [a clinical epidemiologist at Imperial College London] believes the current focus on food advertising detracts attention away from more challenging problems, such as the lack of opportunity for physical exercise in schools. Marsh agrees. "It's not by and large white middle class kids who are becoming obese, it's kids from poorer families," which, he says, ties in with education, aspiration, and various other factors. "I fear that most government approaches take the most financially advantageous line," says Marsh. "The trouble is, they don't work."
- Sunday Times — 23.05.2004
A nation of car snobs. Anthropologists are supposed to do their research in remote, uncomfortable places -places with monsoons and mud huts and malaria. I prefer to do my fieldwork in cultures where you can get a decent cup of tea. My recent research, for example, has seen me studying the English by bumping into 100 people at a railway station to test how many would apologise. But attitudes to cars and behaviour behind the wheel also give a useful window into the social rules that make up the nature of being English…
- Florida Today — 16.05.2004
Is your flirt on the fritz? Who knew? Apparently flirting is much more important than batting eyelashes and licking your lips. "Flirting is much more than just a bit of fun," according to www.sirc.org, the Web site for the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, England. "It is a universal and essential aspect of human interaction. Anthropological research shows that flirting is to be found, in some form, in all cultures and societies around the world. "Flirting is a basic instinct, part of human nature. This is not surprising: If we did not initiate contact and express interest in members of the opposite sex, we would not progress to reproduction, and the human species would become extinct." As if being single weren't hard enough, that's a lot of added pressure.
- Daily Telegraph — 08.05.2004
How to be English Sarah Sands enjoys a survey of our strange social laws. Kate Fox is a social anthropologist, which is an accessible branch of science. She is also friendly, enthusiastic and very pretty. Her chumminess and lack of academic snootiness could suggest banality, but her sharp intelligence and the quality of her research save her. Her grand purpose is to "map the English cultural genome", and this book is divided into larky subheadings such as rules of play, dress codes, rules of sex, and so on. The point about the rules is that they are unstated. The English identity is an insider joke. The way we behave makes sense to us but is baffling to outsiders. In fact, writes Fox, the best guide to English etiquette is probably Alice Through the Looking-Glass.
- Daily Mail — 30.04.2004
Only in England! What is it about the English that baffles and bemuses ourselves as well as other races? It is the subject that has fascinated English writers such as Priestley and Orwell, Alan Bennett and Jeremy Paxman, as well as perceptive foreigners such as George Mikes and Bill Bryson. Here it is again, very thoroughly done. Kate Fox, a 'social anthropologist', has spent ten years analysing what she calls 'the hidden rules of English behaviour' as if she were studying an unknown tribe. Fortunately, she doesn't write like an anthropologist but like an English woman — with amusement, not solemnity, able to laugh at herself as well as us.
- Mail on Sunday — 25.04.2004
WARNING: This rice salad contains traces of lower middle class substances and is not suitable for upper middle class dinner parties. We are constantly told the English have lost their national identity; that there is no longer any such thing as 'Englishness'. But having spent much of the past 12 years researching English culture and social behaviour in pubs, shops and nightclubs, and on racecourses, trains and street corners, I am sure 'Englishness' is alive and well. As a co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, I wanted to discover the unspoken rules of English behaviour and what they tell us about national identity. The object was to identify the unofficial codes of conduct that cut across class, age, sex and other social boundaries. Here are some of my findings . . YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Along with the lists of ingredients and calorie-counts, almost all English-food comes with an invisible class label.
- Independent — 22.04.2004
Bound together with bricks and mortar. If you take a helicopter and hover above any English town, you will see that the residential areas consist almost entirely of rows of small boxes, each with its own tiny patch of green. In some parts, the boxes will be a greyish colour; in others, a sort of reddish-brown. In more affluent areas, the boxes will be further apart, and their patches of green will be larger. But the principle will be clear: the English all want to live in their own private little box with their own private little green bit.
- Birmingham Post — 27.03.2004
Personal finance: take heed before going diy crazy. An investigation document from the Social Issue Research Centre in Oxford explains our pre-occupation with home ownerships. It says: 'Psychological meanings include feelings of safety, status and love. Home is not just a product but also a process — an interest and a pleasure.' What's more, the report has divided the reasons why people DIY into six categories: necessity, territorial marking, self expression, leisure activity, perfection-seeking and therapy.
- New Scientist — 14.03.2004
Smelly device would liven up web browsing. A scent-generating device being tested by the UK internet service provider Telewest Broadband could soon allow internet users to transmit aromas of their choice across the internet … "Our sense of smell is directly connected to our emotions," says Kate Fox, social anthropologist and co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford. "Smells trigger very powerful and deep-seated emotional responses, and this additional element to the internet will enhance users' online experience by adding that crucial third dimension."
- Comon — 14.03.2004
Duftende e-mails. Snart bliver det muligt at krydre e-mails til venner og bekendte med sin yndlingsparfume. Britisk internetudbyder tester system til aromatiske e-mails … "Vores lugtesans er direkte tilknyttet vores følelser. Dufte udløser kraftige og dybe følelsesmæssige reaktioner, og at tilføje denne vigtige dimension til internettet vil berige brugernes oplevelser online," siger antropolog Kate Fox, direktør for Social Issues Research Centre i Oxford."
- BBC Analysis — 04.03.1004
Look after yourself. Kate Fox is director of the Social Issues research centre in Oxford which, it’s open about this, will research questions posed by the food industry. Such as health scares. She’s an anthropologist and looks at behaviour over the long, evolutionary haul … "I think we need to take a step back from this kind of elitist moralising of the sort of making working classes eat up their greens and so on, assume that everyone is just as intelligent as
you are in terms of their response to these kind of messages, take a step back and actually start to look rather more seriously at the causes of obesity because it just isn’t as simple as banning this or warning people about that. The rise of obesity has paralleled the rise in heavy-handed messages about what we should and shouldn’t eat, and to say that people are becoming obese in spite of all of these health messages, it might be more sensible to turn that on its head and look at perhaps people are becoming more obese because of the kind of fear of food, obsession with food that is being promoted."
- Polskie Radio — 21.02.2004
Powachaj przez Internet. Dostajesz e-mail z zyczeniami imieninowymi, a w pokoju roztacza sie delikatny zapach róz. Otwierasz witryne sklepu internetowego - a w nim pachnie swiezymi bulkami i kawa… Choc brzmi to jak fantazja, juz fantazja nie jest. Brytyjska firma dostarczajaca internet - Telewest Broadband - testuje wlasnie "Scent Dome", czarodziejska skrzyneczke, która pozwoli nam wachac najrózniejsze zapachy podczas internetowych wycieczek. "To jak zyskanie w sieci dodatkowego wymiaru" - twierdzi Kate Fox, antropolog z Social Issues Research Centre z Oxfordu - "Zapachy wywoluja bardzo silne i gleboko zakorzenione emocje".
- Scotsman — 19.02.2004
'Scent Dome' Brings Whiff of Realism to the Internet. New technology could allow computer users to smell their e-mails in future, it emerged today. A special 'scent dome' attached to the computer would emit an aroma linked to the message … Kate Fox, a social anthropologist and co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, said: "By adding a third sense to the Internet Telewest Broadband is helping to 'humanise' cyberspace - using ground-breaking technology to re-create more primitive forms of communication. The association of fragrance and emotion is not an invention of poets or perfume-makers."
- BBC — 19.02.2004
E-mail tries out a sense of smell. "Our sense of smell is directly connected to our emotions," said anthropologist Kate Fox, director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford. "Smells trigger very powerful and deep-seated emotional responses, and this additional element to the internet will enhance users' online experience by adding that crucial third dimension."
- Aberdeen Press and Journal — 10.01.2004
Crisis May Blow Over — Depending On Who Consumers Trust. Psychologist Dr Peter Marsh, director of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, said that for every person who thinks twice about popping a fillet of salmon into their shopping trolley this weekend, there is likely to be another who couldn't give a jot. "When the BSE scare first started, the supermarkets all reduced their prices and people were buying up beef at bargain prices and filling their freezers," he explained. "If it's cheap enough, it seems, we'll take the risk." According to Mr Marsh, consumers fall into two broad camps. The "high risk factor phobics", typically the organic-buying middle classes, tend to take every food scare very seriously and will stop buying certain foods if they believe there's the slightest risk to their health.
- Times Magazine — 03.01.2004
When Saturday comes. Although, as Peter Marsh, co-director of the Social Issues and Research Centre, which has conducted several studies of football hooliganism, notes, the phenomenon is nothing new. "You find essays from the Roman social commentator, Pliny the Elder, complaining about the fans of chariot racing," he says. "They dressed in team colours, chanted songs and beat people up. What we see today is the same European cultural tradition of young males showing their defiance."