MA 01 Part 1.   In your own words, define difference and inequality, and provide an example of each on City Road.

Social difference is defined by contrasts among groups or individuals on the

basis of class, race, culture, age, religion, sexuality, or ability.   For example, a

physically impaired person who is wheelchair dependant is different from

someone without such an impairment.

Social inequality is defined by unequal opportunities and rewards for different

social positions within a group or society.   Things such as unequal distribution

of wealth, goods, opportunities and even punishments.   It occurs when people

don't have the same access to resources, putting them at a disadvantage to

those people who do have such access.  

One difference that appears on city road is the sense of belonging between

groups frequenting the Taste Buds Café and the Pool Hall.   Older people feel

welcomed at the Café, while they may think they wouldn't feel as welcomed at

the Pool Hall.   The Pool hall doesn't deliberately exclude older people, but this

also highlights the differences in how places are designed to attract specific

groups of people.   Blakeley and Staples (2014, p.27). 

One inequality that exists on City Road concerns people who are forced into

using the food bank.   They experience economic inequality, putting a constraint

on the choices they have in the food they are given.   This contrasts with the

people who attend the farmers market or the Taste Buds Café who can choose 

what types of food they wish to buy while supporting a particular lifestyle.   The

people attending the food bank do so out of necessity.   Blakeley and Staples

(2014, p. 26).


Blakeley, G. and Staples, M. (2014) ‘The life and times of the street’, in Blakeley, G. and Allen, J. (eds) Understanding Social Lives, Part 1, Milton Keynes: The Open University.