Personal Insecurity and Religious Belief - Oxford Admissions
Laurie Taylor discusses new research which claims to show that the most unequal societies are the most religious. Also, what counts in an interview for Oxford?
Tom Rees has conducted research into religion and personal insecurity in 50 countries. Using figures on how much people pray and how unequal income is in each of them, he claims to have found evidence to show that the most religious societies are the most unequal, and concludes the inequality leads to religion. Is it fear and hardship that makes people of one country more religious than another, or is there a mysterious third factor that can explain why some nations pray so much more than others? Laurie Taylor talks to Tom Rees about his findings, and to sociologist of religion David Voas.
What are the key factors the underlie acceptance to Oxford University? New research explores the influence of cultural factors on the decisions that admissions tutors make at the elite university. After allowing for exam results and for cultural knowledge, Alice Sullivan tells Laurie that men were twice as likely to get a Science place than women and that some ethnic minorities faced an even greater disadvantage.