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 The great British social divide

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Firebird

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Age : 36
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PostSubject: The great British social divide   Sun 19 Jul 2009, 9:37 pm

Earlier today, I watched two different programmes, from two different documentary series.

They were -

(1) Rich, Famous, and Homeless (BBC One) , a 2x 60-minute documentary series
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lfhhx

Quote :
In 2009 recession and repossession mean homelessness is a frightening possibility for almost everyone. But for five famous volunteers, it's about to become a terrifying reality.

Former tennis star Annabel Croft, The One Show's Hardeep Singh Kohli, journalist and writer Rosie Boycott, former Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones and the Marquis of Blandford put homelessness in the spotlight by agreeing to swap their lavish lifestyles, fame and fortune for a world of sleeping rough, soup runs and hostels.

All five have earned success, recognition and, in some cases, notoriety in their chosen fields but, with everything they value stripped away and just a sleeping bag as a symbol of their new life, how will they adjust to being invisible, vulnerable and desperate as a homeless person in London today?



(2) Young, Dumb, and Living off Mum (BBC Three) , a 6 x 60-minute documentary series
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lvt9g

Quote :
Series in which moddlycoddled 17 to 25-year-olds with no life skills are fast-tracked into fully functioning, independent adults using real life challenges in just four weeks


I feel that the two shows contrast with each other considerably, while at the same time throwing some light on some of the profound social injustices (with the frequently either extreme leisure and indulgence, or extreme hardship and destitution, which goes along with that) which are on the go, today.
With frequently arbitrarily-allocated-seeming social status either enjoyed or endured by so many young people, often the main factor seems to depend on whether they were born "a winner" or "a loser" on the socioeconomic heap from the start, with the provision of a meaningful family foundation (or the lack of one) seeming to be the most important factor in furnishing a child with a decent existence fpor the future.

In this way, I feel that the shows demonstrate some of the life situations which are experienced by many young people in the UK, in a way which can be understood and make sense.
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emphryio



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PostSubject: Re: The great British social divide   Mon 20 Jul 2009, 2:41 pm

There is a term... social mobility..? or economic mobility...? Rightwingers like to argue that any person who works hard can easily rise out of poverty. In reality statistics show people doing so are definitely in the minority, in the UK and in the US.

There is a documentary called the Up series which has interviewed the same set of people every 7 years starting at the age of 7 across the spectrum class. The director originally was really trying to show that people rarely leave their class. As a result a few of the rich kids later refused to have anything to do with his series. (Nobody has changed their class except for one middle class guy having a mental breakdown and ending up homeless.) It ended up mostly being interesting though just that in they've managed to follow these people for 42 years now.

The first show you mentioned BTW, the problem with that is they all know it's just temporary. It's like that blog post you posted with the rat race and happiness just around the corner. In their case 'happiness' is actually around the corner. And they're just roughing it for a bit, having a little adventure.

A big part of the negative of barely surviving from month to month is this constant stress that you could permanently go under. One can never truly relax and be happy... It's not possible to really calculate how this negative affects people, this constant stress as they run along on their little hamster wheel through life. These rich people roughing it don't have that. It's just a short term bit of inconvenience.
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Firebird

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PostSubject: Re: The great British social divide   Wed 22 Jul 2009, 11:56 am

Quote :
There is a documentary called the Up series which has interviewed the same set of people every 7 years starting at the age of 7 across the spectrum class.

Very Happy ah, I'm excited !

When you first mentioned it, a year ago or so, Amazon didn't have it anywhere in sight (and neither did anywhere else, so it seemed....) ... which I had felt seemed like something of a mystery really, since it's a UK series and all (!?)

Well anyway, to explain matters a little...
It was released in February this year on DVD (yay !) , and now people can just go right on up and buy a set of the documentaries... and for a very reasonable price, at that !

Smile I'm getting myself a set of 7-49 Up (all chunky 500 minutes of them !) , now I've noticed that I can.



Amazon link -
http://www.amazon.co.uk/7-49-Up-DVD-Michael-Apted/dp/B001LQW686/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1248285241&sr=8-1
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emphryio



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PostSubject: Re: The great British social divide   Wed 22 Jul 2009, 9:42 pm

Oh that's cool. Smile I guess I have managed to bring it up on multiple occasions... I haven't watched every single one but I know that although they generally more and more briefly summarize previous interviews for each new movie, they also (really just Michael Apted actually) has unfortunately removed some good stuff from past interviews.

I'm not sure if I saw 49up. I think I did. I remember in the later ones it gets less interesting as people quit changing as much. The tummult of youth passes. They do generally get happier and I think this is what happens to people generally speaking. But they have far less in the manner of hopes and dreams. And are less questioning. Less still trying to grow and improve as individuals. They become happier and less interesting... They figure out, or decide anyway, who they are and become complacent and a tad bit boring.

I suppose start just worrying about the length of their grass (turn into lawn nazis) and that sort of thing eventually, if he followed them all into old age... Of course not every person is like that. But some of the people he picked seemed pretty boring.

I did find it fascinating though. Hope you like it. Smile
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Firebird

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PostSubject: Re: The great British social divide   Mon 27 Jul 2009, 11:00 am

Quote :
There is a term... social mobility..? or economic mobility...? Rightwingers like to argue that any person who works hard can easily rise out of poverty. In reality statistics show people doing so are definitely in the minority, in the UK and in the US.

Absolutely Neutral
A good living example of this comes in the form of the by-now-well-documented "kitchen sink" industrial estate societies, and 'ghetto tower block' crews ...
Many people in the UK are immigrants fleeing terrible abuse in their homelands.
They come to the UK in droves, often proceed to work their arses off in typical low-economic-status foreigner style... and frequently get housed in borderline-legal/illegal hovellish homes ; which could often have dubious security, structural problems, they could be diseased areas, etc. They'll commonly get packed together in skanky dangerous areas, like low-socioeconomic status rats or something.

Then, they stay there a lot of the time... working so hard just to eke out a meagre existence....
That's how it is.

I totally agree with you.
I've long felt that many rightwinger/capitalist/consumer-type people really could benefit from making efforts to get more in touch with reality and think less about KillZone 8 and Britney spears' kids' singing career and dress sense (or whatever those crazy kids are all onto nowadays)



Quote :
The first show you mentioned BTW, the problem with that is they all know it's just temporary. It's like that blog post you posted with the rat race and happiness just around the corner. In their case 'happiness' is actually around the corner. And they're just roughing it for a bit, having a little adventure.

Smile Aw, no... it's made quite well, I thought.
While being 'posh', the people who took part have all kinds of backgrounds , approaches, and ultimately experiences of the homelessness situation in the UK.

This forum-topic has numerous interesting, well-considered posts, constructive comments about the show -
http://www.hitched.co.uk/Chat/forums/p/122767/1247191.aspx



Quote :
A big part of the negative of barely surviving from month to month is this constant stress that you could permanently go under. One can never truly relax and be happy... It's not possible to really calculate how this negative affects people, this constant stress as they run along on their little hamster wheel through life. These rich people roughing it don't have that. It's just a short term bit of inconvenience.

It's surprising to see how rapidly they do break down.....
In their various ways, they're all very affected after quite a short period of time, and realise how much metal pressure there can be for homeless people.
Towards the end of the second show, commentary similar to yours above was made.

___________


Relentless pressure, never-ending....
So many people, all pretending
Fake smiles, fake faces, fake lives, fake brains
Thinking the homeless are more insane
~Firebird~
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