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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

The Freetirement Generation

Research commissioned by Friends Provident


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 Baby Boomers are the first generation to use consumer products as vital ingredients in defining who they are. They are also of the generation of the civil rights movement, of feminism, and of the social and political liberation that characterised the counterculture of the 1960s. Now they are beginning to retire in their millions, with greater longevity and more freedom than any other generation before them. This report from the Social Issues Research Centre analyses the opinions, experiences and the expectations of older people in order to find out what it means to grow old in the UK today. It also examines the characteristics of the generation that will immediately succeed them.

Key questions

For the latest generation of old people, and for society in general, modern retirement presents an interesting set of questions. Often to the resentment of their children, Baby Boomers grew up in a period of distinct and unprecedented social and economic change, and will often tell you so. Raised in the very early years of the consumer capitalism that flourishes today, theirs was the first generation to know what it felt like to be a teenager. Theirs was a generation of political activism, of sexual liberation and, of course, rock n roll, but also of marriage and family, steady jobs and a pervasive, intensive, iconographic consumer culture. Today, this is the generation of retirement. Older people - Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Tony Blair included - now make up 42% of the adult UK population.

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