Essay Example: Social Life of Cities and People's Sense of Who They Are

Published: 2019-09-20
Essay Example: Social Life of Cities and People's Sense of Who They Are
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Sociology Society
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1126 words
10 min read

Residential segregation refers to the physical separation of different groups of people into different neighborhoods. This process helps to shape one's living environment at the community level. Residential segregation is closely associated with racial segregation or racism, but it only involves classifying people based on the various criteria that identify the as race, ethnicity, income, religion etc. Thus residential segregation is an important aspect of understanding the social lives of people in a community some jurisdictions such as the US and the UK; overt segregation is considered to be illegal. However, a study of different living patterns indicates that there is persistent residential segregation in some of the worlds leading cities and urban centers. Much of the segregation is based on differences in race and income levels.

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Social life is a continuous series of interactions among different people, usually based on the identities that each person has. Therefore, people have learned how to behave in their social lives in such a way that they manage the impressions they give to others within their environments. People adopt different identities as they interact with others depending on their cultural backgrounds, race, and class. While race, genera and ethnicity are all inherent identities, class is interchangeable and one person can move form ne class to the other. Class is usually associated with someones financial power, their profession, or their source of prestige.

In major cities and urban centers in the UK, there are places where people of a particular identity often reside. For example, it is common to come across neighborhoods that comprise of a majority of Italian Immigrants Africa Immigrants, or Asian Immigrants and so forth. These people often converge on the same neighborhood because of their shared identities and feel much closer to each other due to the values they share as a people of the same identity. Moreover, there are some suburbs and estates that are mainly resided by people from the same social class. For example, the poor people will often occupy the slums and shanties while the rich in the society, belonging to higher social classes will liv in the suburbs.

These settlement patterns, based on identity, are part of the everyday lives of people in urban cities. This is significant indicator of the impact of residential segregation in major cities in the UK. Therefore, residential segregation shapes the social lives of the people in cities as well as giving them their identity describing who they are. For example, it is common to see street families and individual growing every other day in cities like London and Manchester. The individuals living on the streets in the cities are often referred to as the homeless people. This gives them the identity that is based on their social class, which is the low economic social group that cannot afford to have a home for themselves for one reason or the other. The fact that these individual are referred to as street families of the homeless people gives them the identity through which they can be recognized. With such an identity, they can interact with others in the streets and get the help they deserve. This example, illustrates how identity can be used to segregate people in an urban setup.

Similarly, in the UK, thee a tendency of identifying people based on their places of origins. Many people in the urban centers in the UK migrated from other places to come to the UK for different reasons. For example, an individual from Syria will be referred to as a Syrian immigrant to the UK. This in a way segregates the individuals and forces them to find other people with a shared identity so that they can live together.

Conversely, social identities such as gender are also important in analyzing social interactions in cities. Gender identifies and separates men from women based on their sex as well as on their cultural understandings of gender roles they play in the society. Men often receive the upper hand in the job market due to their perceived strength derived from their masculinity. In some industries, men and women receive different compensations for their labor for doing similar jobs. These discrepancies are often enshrined in the social identities that distinguish men from women (Dixon and Hinchliffe, 2014). As a result women receiving less compensation will be forced to be in a lower social class, which will deny them the pleasure of living in the suburbs with other richer people. Nevertheless, different women experience different challenges in their specific environments. For instance, African American or Black women have gone through numerous challenges in trying to raise their status in the community. Moreover, for several years, these challenges and experiences have had no place in academic discussions. As such, the feminist thought of black women was somewhat construed as similar to that of women of other races. This also illustrates how residential segregation can be used to give people an identity that affects how they relate with others in their everyday lives.

Residential segregation influences a lot of developments ion cities in the country. It helps to form the basis through which social lives in the cities thrive. Through residential segregation, people are able to be identifies based ion where they live, what they do for a living, their race, and ethnicity (Dixon and Hinchliffe, 2014). This helps to determine how certain people will respond to certain messages, their expectations, and their general worldview. This is very crucial in social interactions in diverse cities.

Residential segregation affects how people relate with each other and themselves, thereby having a huge impact on the views, opinions and beliefs of individuals with regard to other activities that they are engaged in within their societies. These opinions, worldviews and beliefs are then transferred in business where people exchange goods and services using recognized media of exchange (Woodward, 2014). Social stratification affects the way people relate with each other as well as affecting how people view each other in the same society. People interact with each other based on their common interests, social and economic needs Members of one social class always tend to relate well with each other because they have a lot in common in terms of their financial status and social needs (Woodward, 2014). Members of the same social class are therefore likely to join similar social and economic groups where they can share views on how to promote their interests and those of other in the same class.


Dixon, J. and Hinchliffe, S. (2014) Connecting people and places, in Clarke, J. and Woodward, K. (eds) Understanding Social Lives, Part 2, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

Woodward, K. (2014) Reflections on Connecting lives, in Clarke, J. and Woodward, K. (eds) Understanding Social Lives, Part 2, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

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