Thursday, September 15, 2005

49 Up

Don't miss '49up' tonight at 9pm on ITV1. We watched some of it as part of our sociology course in the first year, and it is quite fascinating.

Michael Apted has followed several children every seven years throughout their lives. Ostensibly about class divide, the programme has inevitably evolved into a soap-opera cum reality-tv cum documentary. The children now have families of their own and this installment chronicles them at age 49.

7up, as it began, looked at various children representing the differing social classes in Britain in 1956. It compared their education, living conditions and aspirations. From the common thug to the snooty brat, seeing their change and development makes gripping television. Some children have turned out almost exactly as predicted; others have made surprising choices, some have opted to leave the programme.

The class system of the past is still present today, albeit greatly altered and less prominent - although a popular media issue when public school university applicants are selected against, for example. However we shall see whether the products of it still fit the same niches as before, and furthermore how it affects their own children.


Taz said...

Although it was interesting viewing to see the various characters go through the phases of their life, it was interesting how a few of the individuals were keen to assess the impact the programme had had on their lives. I found myself cringing at their awkward 14 year old stage and was fascinated to see those who had really made a good life for themselves even though they had come from a disadvantaged background. Really great viewing!

aj said...

Not hugely medically related, but definately an interesting program. What draws me is why people leave and come back to the show - it obviously has its down-sides for them, but they seem as keen to do it as we are to devour the next morsel of their lives.

I pondered how much I would like to have those snapshots of myself through the ages - what a potential for self examination and ultimately acceptance. Nobody likes the gawky 14 year old version of themselves, but we all experience it and in doing so value what it is to be the person on the other side of adolescence.

Looking foward to 56up!