Another area to show Manchester has a varied cultural scene is the amount of cafi??’s, wine bars, pubs and nightclubs within the city. All the different types of bars or cafi?? ‘s will entertain your taste buds for all different cultural tastes. You will find there are places like ‘Atlas’ on Deansgate who will cater for the Mediterranean taste buds, ‘Dry Bar’ on Oldham Street specialises in Tapas dishes and allows you to access the internet and for those of you who feel rather exclusive and want the VIP feel then J. W Johnson’s is the place to go. Within this area of eating and drinking, it is almost certain to come across youth culture.
The youth of Manchester bring diversity to the city centre with their strange hairstyles and language. Nevertheless, the youth of today also has their own dress codes and according to The British Cultural Identities, Jo Croft (2002:145) has identified that, ‘these dress codes are obviously crucial keys to understanding how the lines are drawn between different identities in Britain’. And in Manchester, this can be seen from the Indian cultures who wear saris and turbans to the wide trousers, hippy wear type clothes of the student.
The youth of past and present have also left their mark on the city with Graffiti, although this seems to be a less obvious practice now within the city centre. However, graffiti tells other youths, who did the graffiti and often tells possible rival gangs a hidden message. In addition, Jo Croft identifies that the youth culture has to know ‘how to read its messages and above all to recognise the signature of the artist, (2002). In recent years there has been a number of gang related shootings within the borough of Manchester of which one gang member may be trying to prove his/her power over the rival gang.
This of course is another identity as they too have their own dress code and hidden messages that can only be de-coded by the rival gang, and by the identity of the person shot can then the hidden message be read. Another form of gang rivalry in Manchester, which could also prove fatal, is the rivalry between football clubs. The two most famous within Manchester is Manchester United and Manchester City both of which have a massive following of supporters. In an incident in the season 2000/01, ‘gangs of City and United hooligans clashed…
[Where] bottles, scaffolding poles and street furniture were used as weapons… (Manchester Online, 2002). However, there has been a positive effect from football within the city and currently the most prominent figure has to be David Beckham. The various hairstyles, styled by Beckham, have been seen on youths within a few hours of Beckham showing the world his latest crop. There is also the famous number 7 shirt, worn by Beckham, which can be seen almost daily on the youths and adults of Manchester.
Nevertheless, cultural identities in Manchester are not just confined to human beings and their actions, but can also be applied to buildings. Manchester has a vast array of different building structures, from the traditional churches, the gothic John Rylands library, to the newly erected Urbis museum with its contemporary feel. The Urbis museum is dedicated to the urban environment and has cost a staggering i?? 30m to build, (Tamsin Blanchard, 2002). In addition, another building to have the same up-beat contemporary feel is the Lowry Centre situated in Salford Keys.
The Lowry centre is a museum but it is also a shopping centre and even has its own five star hotel. Another building structure to have made an impact on the city is of course the Commonwealth Stadium, which held the games in the summer of 2002. This building has been described as ‘impressive’ with a ‘futuristic structure’, (op cit). Now the games have long since finished it is now being transformed into a football stadium to house Manchester City Football Club.
Nevertheless, Manchester is not just a city for eating, drinking and keeping up with the latest trends; it is also making an impact within television. Most recently ‘Cutting It’, written by Debbie Horsfield was set in Manchester, and Horsfield has described Manchester as having a ‘real energy; a real buzz about it’, (ibid). However, along with Horsfield there is Red Productions who take an interest in filming in Manchester. Red Productions have given us the controversial ‘Queer as Folk’, but also ‘Clocking Off’ and ‘Cold Feet’. All of which have either been filmed in or around Manchester.
In conclusion, to ‘what cultural identities are marked in the city’ of Manchester, it is unfortunate that a complete answer cannot be given. Manchester is a multi-cultural city with such diversity that it is almost impossible to list every single identity. Manchester is home to a wide selection of cultures of which all can call Manchester their home, thanks to its diversity. There is now doubt that Manchester can certainly be considered the culture capital but it may take a little time for the rest of the country to realise that Manchester certainly has the key ingredients to be the culture queen!
In addition, because Manchester is so full of different cultural identities no wonder it is difficult to put this into one sentence. However, the Lonely Planet has tried to do just that, it says ‘Manchester has a thriving cultural life, catering to its huge student and gay population, and vies with London for possession of the nation’s clubbing crown.. And is returning to its glory days of old.. .’ .
BIBLIOGRAPHY Haralambos, M. Holborn, M (2000) Sociology Themes and Perspectives, Fifth Edition, Hammersmith: HarperCollins
Storry, M. Childs, P (edited), (2002), British Cultural Identities, Second Edition London: Routledge Blanchard, T. (2002), (The Observer), Guardian Unlimited, Online <url:http://www. observer. co. uk/magazine/story/0,11913,718087,00. html Accessed: 27/11/02 Lonely Planet World Guide, (2002), Online <url:http://www. lonelyplanet. com/destinations/europe/manchester/printable. htm Accessed: 01/11/02 Manchester City Council, (2002), Online <url:http://www. manchester. gov. uk/culture. htm Accessed: 12/11/02.
Manchester 2002/3, (2002), Online <url:http://www. manchester2002-uk. com/shops/arndale-centre. html Accessed: 22/11/02 Manchester Online, (2002), Online <url:http://www. manchesteronline. co. uk/news/stories/Detail_LinkStory=16775. html Accessed: 27/11/02 Virtual Manchester, (2002), Online <url:http://www. manchester. com/java/localnews/chinatown/history. html Accessed: 21/11/02 Wakefield District Council, (2002), Online <url:http://www. wakefield. gov. uk/lifestyle/culture/ Accessed: 12/11/02.