City Road TMA01 Essay

With reference to what you have learnt about City Road, outline how material things contribute towards differences on a street which you know.

Over the past few weeks I have been studying and carefully looking at the different aspects of a particular street known as City Road in Cardiff. I will be incorporating all the information I have gained from the study materials and my own knowledge to outline how material things contribute towards differences on a street that I have chosen. I have chosen to outline a street that I have been brought up near; a very busy and fast moving high street known as ‘Carshalton High Street’. I will be looking at the material differences presented on this road for instance street signs, cameras and rubbish bins. Carshalton High Street is a well respected area throughout the day but it is very different at night, as is suggested in the (‘Making social lives on City Road’, 2009) in relation to city road. Both streets become distinctly different in the evening.

A lot more students are present due to the different bars and clubs available. The bars in Carshalton high street are very effective in creating communications amongst people and connected them together as it is usually the same local students that attend from a nearby college, whereas city road appears to attract people from all over as it connotes diversity due to the different range of shops and pubs. For instance when Lloyd Robson met a shop owner who incorporated different types of hair extensions from all over the world to cater for the diverse customers present on city road. (‘making social lives on City Road’, 2009, scene 2) In the evening material objects such as metal detectors and bouncers are put into place to try to maintain order amongst the vast growing amount of students on Carshalton high street. These material objects help to aid the street in deterring crime. Metal detectors are used to avoid any type of offensive weapons entering the premises that can potentially be used in violence.

The bouncers are there to ensure that regulations are upheld including the age restrictions and dress code. City road in Cardiff appears to have a very good system regarding street furniture these material objects are displayed and presented with a colour scheme in order to differentiate different areas. All of the street furniture including bins lampposts and bus stops all follow the blue colour scheme which had been carefully thought out and catered for all people including disabled people.

As stated in the DVD they chose this colour as it was the most recognisable by people less able to see. (‘Material Lives’, 2009, scene 1) Carshalton high street does not appear to adhere to any of this system the placing of material street furniture appears to be random and the colour some of which is green has not been though out well at all. The difference in these material things creates a less ordered environment and promotes an unstructured street. Material things such as CCTV cameras which are placed throughout the Carshalton high street contribute greatly to differences on the street not everyone necessarily agrees with them. For instance some people believe that they are very important and worthwhile as it helps to deter crime as well as providing evidence to apprehend criminals it can also provide live feed of traffic collisions and warn others so they can redirect their route, in this instance they appear to be very useful and effective.

Although on the other hand some people argue that CCTV cameras are invading their privacy and violating the human right this is the right to privacy (The universal declaration of Human Rights act 1998, Article 8) With the making social live DVD city road is shown to have 1 main CCTV camera which has been ideally placed so that it can be zoomed in on any aspect of the road it has also been placed so that it cannot film down any residential roads to avoid any conflict over privacy laws. City road can also see the benefits of CCTV cameras and how they contribute to the everyday working of the street. (‘Ordered Lives’, 2009, scene 4) In light of the module material I have studied about City Road in Cardiff and my own personal knowledge it is obvious that material things do contribute to differences on Carshalton high street. The different material objects all create a sense of belonging. They emphasise the streets social life, connections, material lives and order among the street. ‘The street’ (2009) Making Social Lives [DVD], Milton Keynes, The Open University. Blakeley, G., Clarke, J., Raghuram, P., Silva, E. and Taylor, S. (2009) Learning Companion 1, Introducing The Social Sciences, Milton Keynes, The Open University. Word Count: 796

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