Your Daily Dose of NPR Enlightenment

“Give me a child until he is 7, and I will show you the man.”

In Fresh Air, International, NPR, Pop Culture, Television on February 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm

The  monumental British documentary series, 7 UP, first followed 14 seven-year-olds from varying economic backgrounds in 1964 – and has continued checking in every seven years thereafter. This year marks the 7th follow up, the cute and candid 7-year-olds are now 56…and after 49 years, the personalities and social statuses haven’t skewed much.

Fresh Air’s Terry Gross spoke with the director, Michael Apted, and one of the 14 subjects, Nick Hitchon, on their experience with the series and thoughts on the latest installment. Listen to the interview here.

“[T]he idea was that we would get some 7-year-old children from different backgrounds — from rich backgrounds, from poor backgrounds, from rural backgrounds … and have them talk about their lives … and see whether that told us anything. And of course it did, because it was both very funny and also chilling, showing that, in fact, the class system was very active, and that people in certain backgrounds had a real vision of their future, and others really didn’t know what day it was.”

Also worth reading:

○ They Grow Up, but They Remain a Lifetime Pursuit [NY Times]

What “56 UP” Reveals [New Yorker]

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