Motherhood in Western Europe

Insights from Western European Mothers

The changing face of motherhood — Western Europe

The accompanying reports combine a review of existing literature with an analysis of original quantitative data derived from a poll of 9,582 mothers from 12 countries in Western Europe, making it one of the largest studies of this kind ever conducted

Child Obesity and Health

An analysis of the latest available data from the Health Survey for England (HSE)

Child Obesity and Health — download the full report in pdf format

In this ‘National Childhood Obesity Week’, the SIRC report, Children, obesity and heath: Recent trends, holds up a true mirror, accurately reflecting the trend towards slimmer, healthier children. more

The Future of Freemasonry

An examination of the role of Freemasonry in the 21st century


This report is, as far as we know, an account of the first ever study that has been commissioned by Freemasons from a non-Masonic body. None of the SIRC members involved in the project are Freemasons, a fact that evoked surprise and welcome in equal measure from the Lodge members we met. more

The Changing Face of Motherhood

Insights from three generations of mothers


The report seeks to answer some specific questions about the changing face of motherhood and determine the extent to which modern ‘solutions’ to motherhood are more or less beneficial than the solutions of the past. more


A selection of reports and publications produced by SIRC

The impact of the commercial world on children's wellbeing

Report of an independent assessment. In the Children's Plan (2007) the DCSF committed itself to commission an independent assessment of the impact of the commercial world on children's wellbeing. That assessment, led by Professor David Buckingham, is now complete. As part of the process SIRC was commissioned to undertake two major reviews: Children and Family Life: Socio-Demographic Changes and The Ecology of Family Life.

Recession Generation

Psychological impact & the lessons of recession. There can be very few people in Britain who are unaware that we have been living in times of recession…It is clear that people — even those unaffected directly — are worried, especially about their future financial security. But are there some positive lessons to be learnt?

Carpe Diem

A research study into opportunity-taking in 21st Century Britain inspired by Horace. ‘Ask not - we cannot know - what end the gods have set for you, for me; nor attempt the Babylonian reckonings Leuconoë. How much better to endure whatever comes, whether Jupiter grants us additional winters or whether this is our last, which now wears out the Tuscan Sea upon the barrier of the cliffs! Be wise, strain the wine; and since life is brief, prune back far-reaching hopes! Even while we speak, envious time has passed: pluck the day, putting as little trust as possible in tomorrow!.’
Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace) 68BC — Ode I-XI, Carpe Diem.


This report presents the first findings of research conducted by the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) into the nature of optimism in 21st century Britain. The research, commissioned by The National Lottery, has provided a distinctive and definitive account of the role that optimism plays in the lives of the British public, focusing on the importance of optimism both as part of individual identity and personal outlook and as a central factor in social relationships.

Life in the UK today

The BBC Trust commissioned this independent desk research from SIRC on life in the UK today as part of a programme of work supporting its submission to Ofcom's second review of Public Service Broadcasting. As a complement to the extensive work contributed by other players on the rapid advances in technology and consumer behaviour, the work is designed to review and present the available data on broader social trends which may impact on PSB in the future. This includes such issues as population, family life, identity, work and money, children and young people.

Football Passions

passion, emotion and the 'beautiful game' — a pan-European study of football fans.

2020 Vision: The Trust Fund Generation

part of a unique generation in which the notion of saving has been inculcated from birth by the State...What will this mean to them and how will it shape their lives?

The Freetirement Generation

The issue of what it means to be old in the twenty first century is of increasing importance to the economic, political, social and cultural future of Britain. As the post-war Baby Boomer boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 19641) begin to reach retirement age, much speculation surrounds the question of exactly how the world's 'first teenagers' are going to grow old.

The enduring appeal of the local

There may now be rather fewer pubs in relation to the population and many certainly look rather different from the vaults and taprooms of old. But as this project focusing on the 'local' has shown, and in line with our work on all aspects of pub life on and off over the past thirty years, the pub retains its unique position in British society…


The notion of belonging, or social identity, is a central aspect of how we define who we are. We consider ourselves to be individuals but it is our membership of particular groups that is most important in constructing a sense of identity.

Girl Talk

The new rules of female friendship and communication. For women friends play many roles, helping them to define themselves at particular stages in their lives. Women aged between 25-35 in particular value their friendships a great deal - investing time, commitment and emotion in them and expecting the same in return.

Life online: The Web in 2020

The Life online report, looking as it does toward a vision of the Web in the year 2020, aims to provide an outline and analysis not only of projected technological developments but also their social, political and economic implications. What will the Web look like in 2020? What will it do? Where will it be? How will we use it?

Britain: A nation of emotion?

Public displays of emotion in Britain attract media commentary and brow beating over whether we should in fact keep it all bottled up. Yet at the other extreme we have the current weekly torrent of tears of joy and sadness on the X-Factor. What's going on?


— In the Western World we are currently experiencing, by objective standards, the safest environments that we have ever had in our evolution and in our history. And yet, in spite of all this 'safety' around us we seem compelled to worry


— The dinner party is dead. Long live the dinner party

The impact of sport on the UK workplace

The Sense of Summer.

— Throughout our evolution and cultural history summer has always been the season that has been most clearly defined in our memories and imagination.


— YEPPIES, Peter-Pan Syndrome, The New Collectivism and the Quarter-life crisis

Obesity and the Facts

— A SIRC analysis of the Health Survey for England data

The Noughties

— The decade of diversity

Happy Homes

— a SIRC report for the Halifax

Binge Drinking

— An MCM report for the Wine Trade Action Group

Young People 'Talking Not Taking' Drugs

Sex differences in driving and insurance risk

New Van Man Report

— the evolution of Silver Van Man.

The Kleenex® For Men Crying Game Report

— A study of men and crying prepared by Kate Fox.

Jubilee Women

— Fiftysomething women — lifestyle and attitudes now and fifty years ago.

Counting the Cost

— The measurement and recording of alcohol-related violence and disorder.

Evolution, Alienation and Gossip

— the role of mobile telecommunications in the 21st century.

Revised Guidelines on Science and Health Communication

— published in partnership with the Royal Institution and the Royal Society.

Drinking and Public Disorder

— the original MCM Research report to the Portman Group.

Alcohol and violence

— Biochemical, psychological, situational and cultural perspectives

The Smell Report

— The psychology and anthropology of scent

Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking.

— An eight-part report to the Amsterdam Group — presented to the European Commission 29/11/2000.

White Van Man.

— Demon or Diamond Geezer?

Code of Practice / Guidelines on Science and Health Communication.

— A consultation draft prepared by the Social Issues Research Centre in partnership with the Royal Institution — March 2000

Two Great British Obsessions — Tea and DIY

Football Violence in Europe

A comprehensive SIRC report.

Food and Eating — An anthropological perspective

A contribution from Professor Robin Fox — a member of SIRC's advisory panel

The Racing Tribe

— A summary of the publication The Social Behaviour of Horsewatchers

Passport to the Pub

The Tourist's Guide to Pub Etiquette

Mirror, Mirror…

— A summary of research findings on body image

SIRC Guide to Flirting

— What Social Science can tell you about flirting and how to do it

The Human Nature of Violence

— A contribution from Professor Robin Fox, a member of SIRC's advisory panel

Conflict and Violence in Pubs

— A report from MCM Research.

Plus: Conflict and Violence in Pubs: Design Issues

— (pdf format only).

Corporate Bonding at the Races

— Summary of a SIRC report by Kate Fox