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From your viewing of Seven Up and Twenty Eight Up, reflect on the extent to which the background of the children was a major influence on the adults that they became,

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Introduction

SEVEN UP 'It all depends on the individual' implies that we make our own lives without any strong influence of the part of the society into which we are born and/or in which we live our daily lives. From your viewing of Seven Up and Twenty Eight Up, reflect on the extent to which the background of the children was a major influence on the adults that they became, and the extent to which the individual circumstances or choices were crucial. Choose participants in the series who help you argue you case, and show what is significant about their experiences for your argument. Make connections, as appropriate, with themes studied in the unit. ________________________________________________________________________ As adults we make choices in our lives to control and determine our existence in society, but how many of the choices we make have already been determined as children? 'Give me a child until he is seven, and I will show you the man' is the theme of a 1964 children's documentary, Seven Up. This showed us the children's values, backgrounds and personalities at seven, and then again at fourteen, twenty-one and twenty-eight to see the adult they had become (Apted, 1964. 1971, 1978, 1985, 1998) This essay will show how the class into which you are born into, has a significant influence on determining the individual that you will become. ...read more.

Middle

He, as expected, attended Oxford in law and became a Barrister (Apted 1971, 1998). What was conditioned in him from birth was achieved and therefore his class was maintained. "Some set up occupational immobility as an ideal and treated any change of occupation from father to son as a form of deviance" (Caplow, 1975, p. 119). This was evident in the situation with John. It was not mentioned to what career John's father did but he was certainly from a bourgeoisie class. At the age of 21 John had little social conscience, stating that he earned his place at Oxford through Meritocracy (Apted 1978, 1998). "It appears that in all contemporary countries, the sons of men in higher ranking occupations have, on average, better school records then others and a better chance of being admitted to high-ranking occupations" (Caplow, 1975, p. 120). John is very much a product of his class in which he was born into. Perhaps he needs to thank a few more people besides himself. 'Downward Mobility is a thing of the past, in today's world affluence, the message is 'you got it, flaunt it'' (Hooks, 2000, p 3). Tony went to an East End school at seven (Apted 1964, 1998). He dropped out of school before the age of fifteen and became a jockey apprentice (Apted 1971, 1998). ...read more.

Conclusion

This is known as Stratification. Stratification theorist, identify the ranking of social groups. These are ranked in terms of power, prestige and wealth within a basically integrated social structure (Krieken, et al., 2000 p. 49). The stratification this describes is a closed meaning and there is little opportunity for social mobility. "In a closed system the position of individuals is largely ascribed: it is often fixed at birth and there little they can do to change status". An example of the closed stratification system is the caste system. The caste of the parent determines the caste of the individual; they spend the rest of their lives in that status (Krieken, et al., 2000, p 50). By reflecting on the three different participants John, Tony and Paul of the Seven Up and Twenty-eight Up series reflects that the social class into which we are born into has a huge influence upon the adult that we become. Specifically the class system of our family background with relation to power, prestige and wealth, not only influences but also determines the occupation that the individual becomes. Moreover it shows that prevailing social factors and interactions that are predominant along our life path, mean there is not a great deal of choice on whom we will become as adults. "Choice" is an illusion that aids in acceptance of the any given situation, and a willingness to conform. ...read more.

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