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The transmission of cultural passions

Olivier Donnat

In our study of household lifestyles, carried out in France in the year 2,000, we surveyed a group of 5,200 individuals, aged 14 and over. Over one person in three acknowledged having acquired from members of their family circle the taste for an activity that became important in their lives, indeed that became a ‘passion’, in some cases cultural activities, in others scientific hobbies, in yet others a passion for learning foreign languages, etc. The major source of such passions was their parents. We are now seeing a spectacular development of the transmission of cultural passions amongst the younger generations. Their family environment is an important factor – parents who are better educated, or who themselves are gripped by a cultural passion.