Drawing upon what you have learned about City Road

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We are going to be using the High Street in the town of Ashford to highlight the differences that are made and remade and compare them with City Road. Ashford used to be supported by the railway works industry as well as being a market town. The high street has changed dramatically through the years and in this assignment we shall be looking at social change and the change of the High Street including the layout and use. I shall also be comparing these changes with City Road in Cardiff. Firstly, we shall be looking at the layout of the High Street. The High Street used to be the main road of the town centre many years ago.

These days it is completely pedestrianised during the day then opened to the small amount of traffic that uses it in the evenings until the early morning. City Road has not changed in this way, but has become more used by people using it as a conduit to get through to other places (‘Material lives’, 2009, scene 2). This highlights the change of social organisation of both streets. In the High Street, where years ago it used to be used as more of a through road with parking at the sides, it is now used as more of a shopping and relaxing environment during the day.

It has now got a fountain and a large seating area outside for use by the cafe. Secondly, not only does the cafe mentioned above add to the changes in the High Streets use, it also brings a connection of a different national identity. In the same way the Mezza Luna run in City Road is run and owned by Nof, a migrant (‘Connected lives’, 2009, scene1 and 5), the owner of the Cafe Express in High Street is also a migrant but from Turkey. Like Nof the owner has brought his culture and origins into the establishment (‘Connected lives’, 2009, scene 5).

The Cafe Express has been styled as if it would have been if it was in Turkey, they also have a few speciality dishes from Turkey on the menu as well as English dishes. The coffee is imported from Turkey to bring more Turkish identity to the cafe. At first customers were weary of using the cafe as the owners were from another country, but over time it has become a very popular cafe due to its very well mannered and attentive staff, great food and reasonable prices. It has created an identity for Turkish people as being friendly and welcoming.

Very much like Nof, they have succeeded in changing peoples views of themselves and the countries they originated from. Last of all, in addition to the changes the High Street has encountered, it changes from day to night in a very similar way that City Road does. Social order is in play at night in High Street as well as in City Road (‘Ordered lives’, 2009, scene 5). The High Street closes all its shops and pubs, bars and takeaways open as day turns into night. People then attend the High Street for entertainment rather than for shopping.

In the same way as the takeaway waiter, Naveed in City Road has to deal with drunk people coming out of bars, clubs and pubs, (‘Ordered lives’, 2009, scene 5), the kebab shop in High Street has to deal with the same. In the same way as Naveed, the staffs approach with the customers is one of a friendly manner as well as becoming friends with the regulars. The customers do sometimes become rowdy and rude as well as sometimes starting fights with one another. The staff in the kebab shop in the High Street deal with confrontational behaviour by alerting the town’s security team to call any police or PCSO’s that are near by.

Mostly the social order of High Street is one of compliance and is assisted by the use of CCTV, the security system and presence of police officers as well as signs that are displayed making people aware that these are being used. Looking at High Street, we can see that social identity and social order have played a part in the shaping and change of it. Connections have been made with other parts of the world through migration, and we have also seen a connection between material items and social lives through the use of CCTV and other items in the way that it assists in social ordering.

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