Camden Town - Poor Or Desirable Place To Live In?
Coles (2014) mentioned how the relationships between the two images, and the person looking at them are the imagination and the reproduction of place over time are what is portrayed in the images chosen. For the Camden experience and tour, the first thing that comes together is through the assembly what was a small town and the distinctive visual material culture that was transformed into a visual economy of consumption. Before, Camden was seen as a place with high pollution and nothing but pubs and beer drinking. Poverty was extremely high, and the manual labor that needed to be done was overwhelming. Now it is idealized as one of the most desirable places to live. It is known for their famous recording studios and is a popular place for well-known actors and musicians to visit. The cost of living has now increased and the community is very strong.
Place and placemaking are what Cole (2014) argued that they are indeed different acts of power. So with the photo chosen for this photo displays a lot of power. Camden is a small neighborhood that takes pride in having a lot of authentic and independently owned stores over the years. Many huge companies have fought to bring their establishments to Camden. But the power of the people in the neighborhood has stood strongly against it. This relates to consumption and changes over the years because as consumption has come to be a central part of their everyday lives whether it is selling, buying, using within the neighborhood it has all stayed in the neighborhood. The purpose for gentrifying Camden town was also to increase future investments in the community that is related to the different attractions and artistry festivals that are brought to Camden.
These changes related to the change in demographics because now Camden town is geared towards an artistic population both young and old because of the famous and popular crowd they attract. They are known form having many music festivals and is known as a town where a lot of artist in the move to get their start in their music careers. Throughout the tour, there was also a lot of famous people who owned houses there or what known to once lived in the neighborhood. That also attracts more people to Camden Town. As the city continues to grow in its popularity there is a more diverse demographic. The increasing prices of living will also increase the gentrification of Camden Town. People are looking are looking for affordable housing they also want to move into a respectable neighborhood as well. The improvement of housing gentrifies Camden Town from what it was previously as shown in the second photo. Many of the houses are built like these and cost a lot more to live in. The tour guide did mention there is still a small population that is poor or homeless but from what was told during the tour the community is still helpful in finding places for them to eat and sleep.
These changes relate to high and low culture because from the start of Camden town it seemed like something of low culture with lots of poverty and underdevelopment of the area. Pollution was bad the bridged used to crossover to Camden town was the best so it was torn down. Graffiti was created also in the midst of changing the dynamic of high culture and low culture in Camden town. There is also a distinct change in high and low culture when it came to the buildings. As we were walking under one of passages ways overlooking the water, there was a clear distinction between the lower end communities and the higher end communities just by the way the building was and the dynamic around it.
Another distinction between high and low culture is shown through what the Wiededenhoft (2017) the consumer confidence index. This measures consumer perceptions of what the labor market should be which seems to as significant as measuring the economic strength as the unemployment rate in both cultures. It the high cultured areas, based on the atmosphere it seems like the consumer confidence is much higher. They are more united in their community and not afraid to speak about their wants. As for a low-end cultured area, they may not have the proper access or funds to speak about the wants and needs for their community. What I learned from my experience in the toy store is how the culture industry as a whole including the advertisers, marketers, and entertainers begins to create a sense of false needs for younger consumers. The infatuations for all these toys become more about a need instead of a want. Wiededenhoft (2017) described these particular kinds of stores as arcades were shops are enclosed by glass on the inside and meant to create a dream world for young consumers to browse and window shop while still enjoying life. It is the technology that is used in toy stores that create the culture of formal rationality and creates a so-called “dream worlds.”
After a child is convinced enough through advertising parents are then convinced to purchase toys. Now children have control over their parents’ spending power because they have become a huge influence on their parents. Or now children find ways to purchase these toys for themselves. This then leads to the results of our own repression. It’s so easy to watch how the toy market and the culture industry manipulate society into believing that buying children all these different toys and games that come out every year to fulfills our true needs and desires. Once one parent step foot into that store with their children then become oblivious to how easy they are being manipulated with all the in-person advertisements and up close demonstrations. It’s interesting to watch the toy store industry has created a society for consumers at such a young age where kids would maybe feel more accepted or happier just based on the toys they have.
The workers at these toy stores are almost trained to pursue false needs for children that they need certain toys over true needs other. I paid attention to how there were some educational toys all over the toy store but none of them was ever on display or wasn’t advertised as much as the other toys were that the market thinks would sell more. This can result in the loss of critical thinking capabilities within our young consumer society. Not promoting educational toys as well as recreational toys is what the textbook one-dimensionality. It’s very easy to manipulate individuals with the right advertisement and proper marketing skills. When you have someone constantly in your view showing you things and how “great you would be with them” then you are sort of convinced that you may need it. For examples, there were people all up and down the street with the bubbles machines. For a young kid if they keep seeing something that they want and it is constantly in their face when they are easily convinced that they should have it too they can wander around all day with a machine that blows balloons.
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