Essay, 3 pages (600 words)


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Part 1What does this table tell us about the identities of people visiting Englands national parksTable 1 (The Open University, 2011, p23) uses quantitative evidence to show the social identities of people who visit national parks in England, it also provides results for visits to other kinds of areas in England. A collective Identity is a form of social identity and refers to a group that have something in common like age for example. The Table uses ACORN which divides people into five socio-economic categories, it is based on data collected from various means such as census data and lifestyle surveys. (You could have also mentioned what you will discuss in the subsequent essay). Looking at the ACORN classification of trip takers wealthy achievers and comfortably off are the most likely to take trips and visit national parks, with 31% and 27% of trip takers visiting national parks. This could be connected to income levels and lifestyle.

People in the urban prosperity category are the least likely to visit with only 4% visiting national parks and only 10% taking any trip, this could suggest that they dont take many trips due a busy lifestyle and if they do they tend to stay in more urban areas. (It is more likely because urban dwellers have cultural entertainments on their door step). The information shown in Table 1 suggests that retired people are less likely to visit national parks than those in full time work; 43% of full time workers who take trips visit national parks while only 26% of retired people do. This could be contributed to the cost of the visit and access. However the table does not seem to take into account other working categories .

(Okay, but the issues probably relate to mobility rather than cost, as the public spaces of the park are free). such as part time, self employed or unemployed, it would be interesting to see this data so a bigger picture could be built up. In regards to transport it appears that owning or having access to a car has an effect on whether you visit a national park or not.

Car owning households make up 78% of all trip takers with 87% of these visiting a national park, while 83% have personal access to a car. This could be on account of visiting national parks requires transport to access them easily. Not having access to a car will make travelling to a national park or rural location much more difficult and those people who dont have access to one may choose to visit more urban locations where public transport is more readily available. This can be seen on table 1 with only 18% of rural trip takers having no access to a car.

(Good and I think your analysis is probably correct). Disabled people are less likely to visit a national park than anywhere else with only 9% visiting compared to 13% visiting other destinations. This could be because access to national parks is more problematic or adequate disabled access is not provided. (This is a valid point.

It would be difficult to provide adequate access, though, without changing the rural landscape) The table suggests that when disabled people choose to take a trip they are more prone to choose more assessable locations such as towns and cities or rural locations with sufficient disabled access. To conclude while this table gives us a good idea of the collective identities of people who visit national parks it does not go into the reasoning behind the information, it is down to interpretation as to why one group have visited and another hasnt.

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