Press coverage from other years
SIRC in the News
Press coverage from 2008
- Huffington Post — 17.12.2008.
Online Gossip Thrives in Hard Times. Gossip, like other guilty pleasures, is often addictive. However, as explained in the Social Issues Research Centre report mentioned earlier, it can also help your physical and psychological well being. The report cites gossip as the equivalent of 'social grooming' in primates, which "has been shown to stimulate production of endorphins, relieving stress and boosting the immune system;" it's like a getting a flu shot while doing Yoga.
- Social Policy Digest — 01.12.2008.
Impact of social trends on public service broadcasting. A report examined the available data on broad social trends which might have an impact on public service broadcasting in the future. This included such issues as population, family life, identity, work and money, and children and young people.
- Beer News — 01.11.2008.
What credit crunch? Scots are revealed as most generous round buyers in UK in new research which puts paid to stereotypes of mean highlanders. They are revealed as the most generous round buyers in pubs around the UK in research funded by Greene King ... The report was researched by leading social anthropologist Kate Fox and her team at the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre, to examine the role of the British pub in the 21st century. Findings shows that the pub plays an essential role in keeping local communities, family relationships, working relationships and 'sociable networks' alive.
- Nursery World — 29.10.2008.
Major research project looks at nannies' needs. A new research project is aiming to establish how many nannies there are in England and ensure that their needs and aspirations are incorporated into strategies to develop the early years workforce. The study - the first of its kind for ten years - has been commissioned by the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) in collaboration with the teaching union Voice and the National Childminding Association (NCMA). It is being carried out by the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC). The SIRC held a series of focus groups with nannies around the country this month and devised an online survey.
- SunStar — 29.10.2008.
Letiratus: Waving the flirting wand. The Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC), a nonprofit organization based in St. Clements, Oxford UK, issued a sort of flirting etiquette guide with the main goal of helping people avoid flirting with the wrong person at the wrong time and place. It would prevent such embarrassing situations as chatting with a widow in her husband's funeral, engaging someone else's girlfriend in a fun and absorbed conversation, approaching a lovely damsel across the room and who turns away from your gaze, etc. Kate Fox, author of the SIRC Guide to Flirting, cited important rules, which we condense here, to adhere to the guideline of when it is OK to flirt with a stranger or someone you know.
- Canadian Press — 27.10.2008.
U.K. drops plans for a ‘Britain Day' holiday to promote social cohesion. Researcher Peter Marsh, who has studied changing notions of Britishness, said he doubted government plans to promote nationalism would have much effect. "You can't legislate for Britishness," said Marsh, director of the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre. He said his research had found British identity was alive and well - but muted compared to its loud-and-proud American counterpart.
- free society — 22.10.2008.
How the health lobby is driving me to drink. The importance of the pub — and therefore drinking — in British society should not be underestimated. A recent report by the Social Issues Research Centre, commissioned by Greene King, found that although there may be fewer pubs in relation to the population than there were 50 or 60 years ago, the pub retains a unique position in British society. According to the report, "the idea of participation is crucial to understanding what pubs, and locals in particular, are all about — why people are attracted to them and why they endure as a focus for social networks even in this digital age of online communities."
- Guardian — 09.09.2008.
Liberal approach fails to change drinking habits. A report by the independent think tank, the Social Issues Research Centre, says: "The significant feature of the 'integrated' drinking cultures of Europe ... is that there is little or no disapprobation of drinking, and therefore no need to find excuses for drinking. Festivity is strongly associated with alcohol in these cultures, but it is not invoked as a justification for every drinking occasion: a celebration most certainly requires alcohol, but every drink does not require a celebration."
- Science ORF — 28.08.2008.
Pubs sind nach wie vor Orte "sozialen Ausgleichs". Die Weihnachtsansprache von Queen Elizabeth, die Regenpausen beim Tennisturnier in Wimbledon und die roten Doppeldeckerbusse in London: Traditionen werden in Großbritannien noch immer hochgehalten. Wie sehr, zeigt eine aktuelle Studie, die sich mit Pubs beschäftigt hat. Als Institution, in der man nicht nur Bier trinken, sondern auch mit Menschen ins Gespräch kommen kann, die man anderswo gar nicht treffen würde, sind sie nach wie vor zentrale Orte des Königreichs. In der britischen Klassengesellschaft sorgt das Pub somit zumindest kurzfristig für einen sozialen Ausgleich, schreiben Forscher vom Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) in Oxford.
- Coventry Telegraph — 22.08.2008.
Separating the facts from the fiction. Do you struggle to decide what to eat or drink or what 'vice' to give up next? The never-ending stream of confusing health scares can often be contradictory and leave you wondering if anything is good for us any more. So are you suffering from 'warning fatigue'? It seems that never a day goes by without another warning that we're urged to heed if we want to live longer, healthier lives. But Dr Peter Marsh, co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre, says people can become so accustomed to this advice that they become de-sensitised to scares and "eventually pay no attention at all" — even to important health-related information.
- Sydney Morning Herald — 16.08.2008.
Oh Big Ben, you're ever so naughty. Kate Fox, of Oxford's social issues research centre, said a survey of attitudes found that of all representations of sex in the media, page three girls attracted the least objection. Somehow they were seen as reassuringly familiar, too quaint - the headline puns too silly - to be offensive. The English, she writes, remain stuffy about matters of the flesh. In fact, she describes them as "funny" about sex. But she means it literally: the English want to avoid social embarrassment at all costs and use humour reflexively to defuse unease.
- Sunday Sun — 17.08.2008.
Are health scares a help or hype? ARE you struggling to decide what to eat, drink, or what "vice" or treat to give up next, thanks to the never-ending stream of confusing health scares? It seems that never a day goes by without another warning we're urged to heed if we want to live longer, healthier lives, but the advice can often appear contradictory. Dr Peter Marsh — co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre — says people can become so accustomed to this advice that they become de-sensitised by unfounded scares and "eventually pay no attention at all"…even to important health-related information.
- Times — 04.08.2008
Britain united by Olympic sporting success. Every four years athletes from the home nations shelve fierce rivalries to compete together under the Union Jack, but what does it really mean for people watching at home to be British during the Olympics? Anthropologists at the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford have attempted to discover how the event affected the sense of national identity. More than two thirds of British people in the YouGov poll could immediately recall their favourite Olympic moment. "Although everyone is saying Britishness is dead, the concept clearly still has something going for it," Peter Marsh, SIRC director, said.
- Telegraph — 03.08.2008
Survey shows olympics will fuel 'Britishness'. The Games are expected to see a rise in patriotism as the public gets behind Team GB...Kate Fox, co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre said: "Despite the mixed fortunes of Team GB over the years the Olympics inspire a sense of Britishness that is absent in most other major international sporting events as it allows all of the nations that constitute the UK to compete as one."
- Observer — 27.07.2008
Laughter: the secret of love. Anthropologist Kate Fox, author of Watching the English, believes self-deprecation is uniquely vital when the English dabble in the art of seduction: 'For the English, the rules of humour are the cultural equivalent of natural laws - we obey them automatically, rather in the way that we obey the law of gravity.
'The most important rule is the proscription of earnestness. Pomposity and self-importance are outlawed. Serious matters can be spoken of seriously, but one must never take oneself too seriously,' she added. 'As long as everyone understands the rules, they are duly impressed both by one's achievements and by one's reluctance to trumpet them.'
- The Publican — 03.07.2008
Pubs still vital for social interaction, study shows. The future for pubs may not be so bleak after a third of young people said on-line interaction will never compete with real-life encounters in the pub. A study by social anthropologist Kate Fox, also found more than 40 per cent of pub-goers believe the pub is better for family get-togethers than home. And one in four of the 2,217 surveyed for the report, commissioned by Greene King, said their local was an essential part of community life.
- Guardian — 14.06.2008
Love by numbers. The Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) report on sex differences in driving cited evidence that men (especially those under 25) are more aggressive drivers, more likely to speed, take risks and crash (a 1992 study showed twice the rate for men as for women). But poor men - the SIRC says they carry around a larger 'interpersonal bubble' and when someone goes near it, they can get road rage. Women, however, are more likely to have 'errors of judgment' — accidents such as reversing into skips.
- Edmonton Journal — 04.06.2008
Is there a reason he won't ask for directions? ... a 2004 meta-analysis of gender research by the U.K.-based Social Issues Research Centre found that, internationally, men not only drive faster, they incur the lion's share of driving offences, get into more accidents and are more likely to overestimate their driving ability. "In terms of driving behaviour, the differences can be seen clearly in the greater propensity of males to take risks, exhibit aggression and seek thrilling sensations," the study's authors wrote. "These differences may be shaped by socialization, but ... evolutionary psychology provides a strong basis for sourcing many of these back to the little-changed cognitive structures required by our hunter-gatherer ancestors."
- De Welt — 02.06.2008
Lust auf Sex sinkt durch die Fußball-EM. Es geht kaum noch etwas, wenn der Ball erst rollt, auch in anderen Ländern. Im Auftrag der Firma Canon, eine der großen Sponsoren bei der EM, hat das britische Institut Social Issues Research Center (Sirc) eine Studie namens Football Passions verfasst.
- Un Homme — 01.06.2008
Le foot ou l'amour? Le 7 juin débute l'Euro 2008 de football. A cette occasion, une étude Canon réalisée par l'institut britannique Sirc (Social Issues Research Centre), révèle que les hommes sont davantage passionnés par les grands matchs de football que par les câlins. En moyenne, 50% des Européens disent préférer regarder un bon match plutôt que d'avoir des relations sexuelles. Cependant, les Français sauvent l'honneur, puisqu'ils ne sont que 27% dans ce cas.
- Welt am Sonntag — 01.06.2008
ääääSex oder Fußball? Fußball! Manche Fragen könnten in den kommenden EM-Wochen gravierend an Bedeutung gewinnen. Zum Beispiel "Tauschen wir jetzt Zärtlichkeiten aus oder schauen wir Fußball?" Schließlich gibt es vom 7. bis 29. Juni Fußball ohne Ende. In Spanien (72 Prozent), Norwegen (67 Prozent), den Niederlanden (64 Prozent) und Deutschland (62 Prozent) fällt die Antwort klar zu Gunsten der Betrachtung der 22 Spieler auf dem Rasen aus, wie eine Umfrage des britischen Social Issues Research Centre unter 2000 europäischen Fans herausgefunden hat. Portugiesen und Italiener setzen ihre Prioritäten anders: Nur 17 und 25 Prozent verzichten lieber auf Sex als auf ein wichtiges Spiel.
- Northern Echo — 29.05.2008
Gridlock And Road Rage. The motor car leaves a lot to be desired as a system of transport. Peter Marsh, director of the Social Issues Research Centre, points out it's an "individually owned, very expensive box, easily damaged, kills people, pollutes the environment and crashes into each other". Put that way, it doesn't sound a very good idea. You can see his point. The very thing developed to move us from A to B, these days tends to get us nowhere fast. Or nowhere slow, as every morning 15 million cars hit the road - and sometimes each other - for the daily commute.
- Le Figaro — 27.05.2008
Sexe ou foot? Les européens divisés. La moitié des Européens fans de foot préfèrent regarder un match important plutôt que d'avoir des relations sexuelles mais derrière cette moyenne se cachent d'importantes variations selon les pays, affirme une étude de l'organisme britannique Sirc réalisée pour Canon.Le ballon rond recueille ainsi la préférence auprès de 72% des fans espagnols, de 67% des Norvégiens, de 64% des Néerlandais, de 62% des Allemands, de 61% des Britanniques, de 54% des Suisses, selon ce sondage paneuropéen en ligne réalisé par le Social Issues Research Centre (Sirc).
- Observer — 25.05.2008
Sex is just no substitute for Spanish fans. The survey of 2,000 fans in 17 European countries was conducted for Champions League sponsor Canon by the British Social Issues Research Centre. The results went one step further to prove what many have feared for some time — Spaniards are obsessed by football. More than six out of 10 said they planned their lives around the next match between Valencia and Villareal or Real Madrid and M´laga. Spaniards are also the most superstitious fans in Europe, with 69 per cent saying they performed some ritual in the hope that it would help their team to win.
- Quotidiano del Nord — 22.05.2008
èI tifosi pià appassionati d'Europa sono gli svedesi, gli italiani preferiscono il sesso. Peter Marsh, Co-Director del Social Issues Research Centre, spiega: "Questa è stata una delle pià complete ricerche fatte negli ultimi anni sulla tifoseria calcistica in Europa. Il sondaggio mette in evidenza le passioni e le emozioni che sono associate al gioco e il ruolo positivo che l'essere un autentico tifoso gioca nelle vite di milioni di europei. Nonostante ci sia una forte rivalità tra tifosi a livello locale e internazionale, siamo stati colpiti da quanto il calcio unisca persone provenienti da tutta Europa e con un diverso background."
- Western Mail — 21.05.2008
Just enjoy our brief moment in the sport spotlight — it never lasts long.
In 2006 a study by the Social Issues Research Centre assessed the impact of sporting success and failure on the UK workplace. The results revealed that sport — and conversations between staff and customers, managers and staff, men and women — can have a positive impact on morale and productivity. Up to 63% of men and 52% of women said that sporting success has an impact on their approach to work. A further 47% of women and 40% of men said that sporting success lifts their mood and makes them more productive in their jobs.
- Daily Mail — 20.05.2008
Get gossiping. Scientific evidence shows that gossiping among human beings is the equivalent to 'social grooming' - the common activity that bonds apes and monkeys. Evidence shows that this kind of behaviour releases endorphins - naturally occurring hormones that make us feel warm and happy. The Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) says that gossiping is a primitive need that gives us a natural high. Furthermore, gossiping is essential for our social, physical and psychological well-being. Anthropologist Kate Fox from the SIRC believes human beings have an innate need to bond which explains why two-thirds of all conversation is gossip. "Ironically, technology such as mobiles has allowed us to return to our natural communication patterns and restore our need to gossip which makes us feel good," she says.
- Times — 13.05.2008
Why can't he be more like me? "Fathers usually expect sons to embody the beliefs that they hold to be important," explains Patrick Alexander of the Social Issues esearch Centre, Oxford. "Encouraging sons to do well in sports is an issue of passing on realised, or unrealised, ambitions and aspirations to your kin. This fits with a traditional understanding of 'kinship relations' — as well as family names and family traditions, children must inherit the social aspirations and expectations of their parents."
- La Vanguardia — 05.05.2008
Siempre localizados. The web in 2020,elaborado por el Social Issues Research Center (SIRC) de Oxford (Reino Unido). Con variaciones m´s o menos optimistas en cuanto a la celeridad con que se producir´ la extensión y el abaratamiento de la conexión a internet, la inmensa mayoría cree que antes de ese horizonte para el que restan sólo doce años se habr´ producido una dr´stica ampliación de los lugares con cobertura inal´mbrica ...
- Banking Times — 01.05.2008
Teenagers show promise in financial management. The reputation held by British teenagers for squandering their own and their parents' hard earned cash is under threat. According to research undertaken for The Children's Mutual, which specialises in the investment of Child Trust Funds, the nation's teenagers are far more responsible with money than parents believe. The Trust Fund Generation report, which has been prepared by the Social Issues Research Centre, found that many parents were fearful that their children would "blow" a lump sum received on their 18th birthday ... However, the research found that 57% of teenagers who imagined themselves in receipt of £20,000 at 18 would use the money wisely.
- NRC Handelsblad — 29.03.2008
Elke dag een kerstpakket; Een week lang virtueel winkelen. Vervolgens kwam het rapport van SIRC (Social Issues Research Centre), een onderzoeksbureau in Oxford. Het leven online: het web in 2020, heet het. In opdracht van de Engelse internetprovider Rack Managed Hosting onderzocht SIRC onder andere hoe het internet over twaalf jaar ons winkelgedrag zal hebben beïnvloed. E-commerce, bestellingen doen via internet zoals we dat nu kennen, daar zal in 2020 om gelachen worden. Winkelen is volgens SIRC tegen die tijd een virtuele activiteit, V-commerce: in 2020 wandelen we vanachter onze computer door virtuele driedimensionale shoppingcentra, waar we schoenen en spijkerbroeken passen en ter plekke advies vragen aan verkoper of vriendin. Thuiswinkelen is dan niet langer een individuele activiteit, maar een gezellige gebeurtenis. Alsof we met elkaar door de stad slenteren, maar dan computergestuurd.
- Money Marketing — 08.03.2008
Now we are three. As we celebrate the third birthday of the child trust fund, it is time to reflect on how much this baby of the savings world has grown up ... According to recent research we commissioned from the Social Issues Research Centre ... forty-two per cent of parents think that if their child was given £20,000 at age 18, they would spend it on material goods and 19 per cent that they would splash the cash to have fun but youngsters have very different views. We cannot ask today's five-year-olds what they would spend their money on in the future, so instead we have spoken to today's teens about what they would do if they received a payout today. Their answers bode very well for the future. The majority would choose a combination of sensible options, the top being to continue to save the money, with spending on education and putting it towards the deposit on a first home as second and third choices.
- Yorkshire Post — 08.03.2008
Trusting in lump sum gives good start to life. Youngsters were asked in a survey by the Social Issues Research Centre on behalf of The Children's Mutual what they would to with a £20,000 lump sum. Top priorities were to continue to save, to pay for higher education and to buy a property.
- New Zealand Herald — 18.02.2008
Mind you don't mistake me for Penelope Cruz. It's like a vast, culturally manufactured disease, leeching into the developed world. I'll bet that even our grandparents' generation didn't have this kind of negative self-criticism that most of us assume is normal today.
In one United States survey, 81 per cent of 10-year-old girls had already dieted at least once, according to the Social Issues Research Centre. Okay, you reason, maybe US children are heavier. But then how do you explain that 25 per cent of 7-year-olds in Sweden have dieted. In Japan, 41 per cent of elementary schoolgirls thought they were too fat.
- Birmingham Post — 02.02.2008
A helping hand for today's children. ... a detailed study of CTFs from The Children's Mutual, a friendly society restyled by chief executive David White to promote Mr Brown's dream of a new "savings gateway", tries to put the scheme into perspective. Compiled by The Social Issues Research Centre, it predicts an initial payout of pounds 2.4 billion in autumn 2020 to children born after September 1, 2002, a sum possibly big enough to influence the economy by triggering a new generation of entrepreneurs, and by making it possible to buy a home much earlier.
- Northern Echo — 29.01.2008
Counting the cost of 'spendemic' ... When CTF vouchers first arrived three years ago, they were greeted with scepticism, and some lazy parents. At the last count, about 3.6 million CTF vouchers had been despatched, but more than a quarter of the recipients haven't bothered to use them to open a savings account for their child. Now a detailed study of CTFs from The Children's Mutual ... tries to put the scheme into perspective. Compiled by The Social Issues Research Centre, it predicts an initial payout of £2.4bn in autumn 2020 to children born after September 1, 2002, a sum possibly big enough to influence the economy by triggering a new generation of entrepreneurs, and by making it possible to buy a home much earlier.
- Evening Standard — 23.01.2008
Save now and buy later. Millions of young people will benefit from a scheme to help them buy their first home, a new report reveals ... Research carried out by the Social Issues Research Centre for The Children's Mutual, one of the largest CTF providers, reveals that although the average first- time buyer will probably need a deposit of £18,800 to buy a home by 2020, a fully-topped up CTF could provide a cash lump sum at maturity of £37,100. This assumes that the full £1,200 a year allowable top-up is added to the CTF and the investments show an average return of seven per cent a year not unrealistic if the money is invested in an equity-based fund.
- Sunday Times — 20.01.2008
Child funds grow up. Parents could give their children a £37,000 windfall at 18 by making the maximum top-up to their child trust fund (CTF), although advisers warn that they will end up with much less if they choose a poor account ... With another £250 from the government at age seven, by 18, total contributions to the scheme can top £20,000. As long as the fund grows by an average 7% a year that will grow to £37,100 when the child accesses the cash at 18, according to the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC).
- Scotsman — 18.01.2008
Children's trust funds could kick-start kids. By 2020, people in their late teens and twenties could be in a much better situation than today's young adults when it comes to home ownership, entrepreneurship and general prosperity. This is because it is estimated that, from 2020, the first year child trust fund (CTF) holders celebrate their 18th birthday, their CTF accounts could pay out an estimated £2.4 billion a year. Research published today by the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC), commissioned by the Children's Mutual, is describing this transformation as a "new dawn for teens".
- Guardian — 18.01.2008
Trust fund generation to buck savings trend. Their grandparents were babyboomers, pushing social boundaries amid economic security. Their parents were generation X-ers, spending fast but feeling insecure in a fast-changing world. Now the "child trust fund generation", the first British children to benefit from a state saving scheme, are set to become forward planners, using state-sponsored inheritance to buffer themselves against global uncertainty through house purchases, education and savings. A report published today by the Social Issues Research Centre, on the third anniversary of the first child trust fund vouchers issued by the government, forecasts the emergence of an unashamedly sensible generation, opting to spend the trust fund cash they get at the age of 18 on moves towards a secure life.
- Times — 18.01.2008
Those who can afford to save make best use of child funds. They were designed to give poor children the modest nest egg that most middle-class teenagers expect from their parents when they turn 18. But research shows that it is the middle classes who are making the most of the Government's Child Trust Funds. Twenty-three per cent of such funds are being topped up by parents. The average monthly top-up is £21.20. The research was carried out by the Social Issues Research Centre think-tank on behalf of The Children's Mutual, which manages £250 million worth of such funds and which found that among its own clients the extra savings were even higher, with 47 per cent of parents topping up their children's funds using direct debits.
- The Economist — 12.01.2008
Turf wars; Racing changes. Toffs and spivs are quarrelling over the sport of kings. Few British institutions have proved as steadfast as racing, the sport of kings. Whereas the Royal Navy stopped handing out rum rations in 1970, and the younger royals have moved away from family values and good taste, racing still clings to its oldest traditions. At Royal Ascot, Britain's most famous race meeting, men entering the royal enclosure wear full morning dress and ladies cover their shoulders and midriffs. Kate Fox, a social anthropologist, calls racing the "last bastion of old-fashioned chivalry", where women are treated with courtesy and even sozzled crowds have "exceptionally good manners".