Individual exercises to help test your understanding and knowledge of key areas of text. Complete them to see your strengths and weaknesses.
The pavement is a primordial site for social life in villages, towns and city, where members of the public encounter one another. It is a place for transportation on foot, though we also find wheeled luggage, buggies, scooters, skateboards and bicycles on it. It is a place for meetings, planned and unplanned. It is a place for advertising, busking and selling things. It is a place for exercise for joggers, walkers and dog walkers (for dogs it is also a food source, scent-system and latrine). It is a place for leaving and collecting rubbish. While its passing, regular and professional inhabitants vary by country, city and neighbourhood, it is not unusual to find a mix of social types there. These persons are going about making themselves and their actions recognisable and, in turn, recognising and responding to the actions of others. The pavement is, then, in short a site rich with activities. For the exercise, find a reasonably heavily used pavement and spend at least two hours there. A notebook is probably all you will need by way of equipment. Work your way through the suggestions and questions below:
- List the categories of persons (e.g. student, shopper) and groups (e.g. schoolkids) you can recognise that are on the pavement you are studying.
- Note any persons that have institutional roles related to the pavement and consider what they are doing and how they make their role and their actions recognisable.
- Make a list of the actions that you see on the pavement.
- Pick one or two of these actions and break them down into detailed and sequential instructions for reproducing them.
- Reconsider some of the categories you first listed in relation to how having studied their role in pavement-actions.
- When things go wrong in minor or major ways, what do the persons involved do to repair the situation?
For a more advanced exercise, building on the first analysis, you can towards the rights to, and on, the pavement.
- What are the relative rights of categories person you have observed on the pavement?
- How do you see each social category’s rights manifest in the actual actions you are observing on the pavement?
- Are there spatial aspects to each social category’s expectation and orientation toward their rights and the rights of others?