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"Interesting Times: Tracking Houston's Transformations Through 30 Years of Surveys", featuring Dr. Stephen Klineberg, Kinder Institute Co-Director, provides a vivid depiction of the findings from 30 years of systematic research tracking the economic and demographic transformations of the Houston region. No other metropolitan area in America has been the focus of a long-term research program of this scope. None more clearly exemplifies the trends that are rapidly refashioning the social and political landscape of urban America. The film documents through the Houston experience three of the most critical issues of our time: 1. the need to mitigate the growing inequalities based on access to quality higher education; 2. the central importance of quality-of-life issues in attracting the talent that will grow the local economy; and 3. the challenge of building a truly successful, inclusive, equitable and united multi-ethnic society. As the film asserts, Houston is one of the places where the American future is going to be worked out.




Please click here to watch the full 24-minute film on YouTube.


Praise for the Film

"Interesting Times conveys an essential message for every business leader in Houston. No one tells the story of the opportunities and challenges facing Houston so clearly or so powerfully." - Scott McClelland, H-E-B Houston Division President

"It's up to all of us to determine how to use this information to make an impact and keep the Houston region moving forward." - David Ruiz, Bank of America Senior Vice President

"It's a wake up call to all of us about the importance of investing on the front end in the health, education and well being of Houston's families." - Mark A. Wallace, President/CEO Texas Children's Hospital

"Stephen Klineberg tells a compelling story that the times have changed and post-high-school education has become a requirement for a sustainable future. Thank you, Kinder Institute!" - Carol Shattuck, President/CEO of Collaborative for Children

About the Kinder Houston Area Survey

In March 1982, Klineberg and his students conducted what they thought would be a one-time survey of public attitudes in an Anglo-male-dominated biracial Southern city that was riding its location near the East Texas oil fields to continued prosperity. Two months after that first survey, the oil boom collapsed. Year after year, the annual studies have continued to track the changes in the economic outlooks, demographic patterns, life experiences, attitudes and beliefs of Harris County residents, as the region went through a major recession and then recovered into a fundamentally restructured economy and a remarkable demographic revolution. The three decades of systematic surveys tell a story rich in the kind of data and insight that can inspire informed decision-making.

About Dr. Stephen Klineberg

Dr. Stephen Klineberg, co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research and a sociology professor at Rice University, is a graduate of Haverford College, received a master’s degree from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. In 1982, he and his students initiated the annual Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey, now in its fourth decade of tracking the remarkable changes in the demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences, and beliefs of Harris County residents. He is the recipient of 12 major teaching awards, including the Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Piper Professor Award. 

Produced and directed by ttweak

Available in DVD
Color, 24 minutes 11 second, All Audiences, NTSC Widescreen, All Regions
English and Spanish language tracks

English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Simplified Mandarin subtitles

This film was made possible due to generous support from:

Bank of America
Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Rice University