City Road Offers the opportunity to observe how material things, such as the businesses serving the community, may present inequalities and differences be,even various groups Of people. The Mackintosh Centre located on City Road is a large, prominent building which has undergone a transformation from its original usage. Originally built as a family home for local wealthy landowners it is now a local sports club. This facility is not well frequented by the residents of City Road though.
Head Coach John Shockley says ‘It’s quite daunting this, this big place where it’s all gated offћ, that looks like a private club, it looks expensive’ (Making Social Lives on City Road, 2009, scene 7) The frontage of the building is very imposing and gated, which presents an immediate physical barrier to anyone entering the club and therefore gives an impression of being exclusive and expensive. Although, as the head coach points out, the club is open to all, but it is how the club is perceived to be by the local residents which have caused the Mackintosh Centre to be almost ignored as a sports centre.Order now
At weekends however, the Mackintosh Centre takes on a completely different role as a host to a Farmers Market, This market is used by the wider community, including the student population who probably would not use the Centre for the leisure facilities. The Farmers Market presents fresh produce and an opportunity for students to try different types of foods. The Centre becomes accessible to all groups of people, not emitting the perceived sense of exclusivity as it does during the week.
Although during the Farmers Market a wide range of residents use the Mackintosh Centre, there are Other buildings along City Road that seem to attract different age groups. The Taste Buds Cafe© is frequented by older people. The customers in the cafe© feel as they are valued both as customers and as individuals. The dialogue between the customers and Lloyd Robinson tell of sandwiches being made ‘for us special’ (making Social Lives on City Road’, 2009, cone 3). The customers feel a sense of security in the Cafe©. However, different places along City Road may seemingly appear to exclude older people.
Blakeley et al states ‘Older people feel welcomed at Taste Buds Cafe© while they may think that they would not feel as welcomed in the Pool Hall. ‘ (Blakely et al, 2009, page 26). The Pool Hall is used more by younger people but this is because it is designed to appeal more to this age range. The Pool Hall is used during the evening When City Road is visited by more young people attracted by the bars and take-sways. A notable difference between the older people using the cat© urine the day and the younger people using the pool Hall at night was the sense of safety and security.
The older group of people perceived this sense of security from the familiarity of the cafe© and its proprietor It is clear that the younger people did not have the same relationship with the proprietors in City Road as the older people had cultivated. Despite a female who Vass interviewed by Lloyd Robinson having recently moved to the area saying she finds ‘its more friendly’ she also then described City Road as being ‘dead rough’ at night (making Social Lives on City Road’, 2009, scene 3) although it was also admitted it was just an impression.
There are CATV cameras located along City Road but these have not alleviated the safety fears of the young people using the Pool Hall. In conclusion, material things do favor different groups Of people but it is often dependent on how the different groups perceive these material things. This essay has outlined how one particular building may, with a variation to its usage, appeal to a wider range of people and also alter how it is recognized. Nevertheless, it is also shown how buildings are deliberately designed to attract a specific group of people and how that business meets the needs of its customers.
Word Count: 724 References Blakeley, Brimley, Clarke,J. , Aerogram, Silva, E, and Taylor, S. (2009) DOI Introducing the social sciences, ‘Learning Companion 1’, Milton Keynes, The Open University, ‘Making Social Lives on City Road’ (2009) DOI Making Social Lives , Milton Keynes, The Open University. Self-reflection have found that I am enjoying studying the subject and meeting the tutor and other students during the tutorial has given me confidence. I have found it difficult to dedicate enough time to study however I am managing my time better as the week’s progress.