Essay on The City Of Edinburgh

Essay on The City Of Edinburgh

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The world we are living in is becoming an increasingly urbanized one- with 54% of the current population living in urban areas (, 2014). The ever expanding physical size of a city brings distinct differences in each one. With this rise in diversity the term ‘a city in difference’ was coined, meaning a city in which “social differences are gathered together at unique scales and levels of intensity” (Fincher and Jacobs, 1998: 1). Scotland’s capital, the city of Edinburgh is one Europe’s most prominent financial centres. With Edinburgh being the hub of Scottish politics and culture- it is difficult to understate the variation in its environment and people. With a diverse population of 487,000 (National Records of Scotland, 2013), Edinburgh is an excellent example of a city of difference. This essay will use photographs as a research method to illustrate Edinburgh as city of difference. In order to this, the advantages of said research method must be discussed and analysed. In addition, this essay will discuss aspects of inequality, segregation, how distinct areas of Edinburgh have become radicalised by religion and race and how sexuality and gender illustrate the differences within the city.

Using photography is a popular method in social science research. This essay uses photographs to demonstrate the urban differences between residential areas in Edinburgh as well as illustrating the segregation of religion in society. Photography is an active research method where in images are used to visually represent areas being discussed in the text (Rose, 2007). There are considerable benefits to using photographs as a research method, in particular the value the hold over text. Photographs convey a true representation of what is bei...

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...f difference’, this was exemplified through ghettos in Chicago as well as the ‘white flight movement’ in deindustrialised cities. A third photograph was thereafter used to discuss the concept of radicalisation and exclusion within in the city. This depicted a Muslim mosque and a close by muslim supermarket, therefore portraying the concentration of certain religious groups in a certain area. Lastly, the sexuality of Edinburgh was discussed, regarding the explanation for dedicated homosexual areas and how the social pressures of heteronormavity have perhaps caused this. The photographs used allow a realistic perspective on the concepts discussed and provide a visual for the reader in aid to the text. This, in turn, has allowed the exploration of the urban theme to become more realistic and allowed the conclusion to be drawn, that Edinburgh is a city of difference.

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