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The Hairless Body - Ghosts

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 10 October 2007

It used to be a feminist faux pas but now over 99% of women regularly remove hair from their bodies. Men are doing it too, Peter Mandelsson waxes the back of his hand and sportsmen, like Gavin Henson, shave their legs. Anneke Smelik, Professor of Visual Culture at the Department of Cultural Studies, University of Nijmegen (Netherland), tells Laurie what she thinks lies behind this war on body hair.

Dr Owen Davies, Reader in Social History at the University of Hertfordshire, looked back over the opinion polls of the last fifty years which reveal a constant rise in the percentage of the British population that believes in ghosts. Owen became interested in finding out why popular belief in ghosts and the supernatural should fluctuate, and what social, economic and religious changes are responsible for our changing attitudes. His new book is The Haunted: A Social History of Ghosts.



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