Drawing from what you have learnt from the Making Social Lives DVD and Learning Companion 1, outline how material things on City Road favour the activities of some groups of people over others. City Road in Cardiff is a street that stretches for nearly a mile and is one the busiest streets in Wales’ capital city. The streets origin began over 200 years ago as a country track and has grown to witness a diverse range of businesses develop alongside it. City Road offers the opportunity to observe how material things, such as the businesses serving the community, may present inequalities and differences between 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 Cooksley says ‘It’s quite daunting this, this big place where it’s all gated off… 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. 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 residents to try different types of foods. The Centre becomes accessible to all groups of people, not emitting the...
References: Blakeley, G., Bromley, S., Clarke, J., Raghuram, P., Silva, E. and Taylor, S. (2009) DD101 Introducing the social sciences, ‘Learning Companion 1’, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
‘Making Social Lives on City Road’ (2009) DD101 Making Social Lives [DVD], Milton Keynes, The Open University.
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