• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Examine The Political Significance Of Any Carnival Of Your Choice.

Extracts from this document...


Alastair Stone:012930 Examine The Political Significance Of Any Carnival Of Your Choice For a long time now carnival has existed in societies all over the world as a wildcard in the deck of structure and order, since the early medieval times carnivals have been rejoiced as a concentrated form naturalistic freedom. The Notting Hill Carnival is world renowned as a ground for multicultural carnival-style behaviour and is the largest street carnival in Europe. The ethnic diversity is immense and it often signals a time for migrated families to invite their extended families to experience the event with them. It is problematic to attempt to describe exactly what the essence of carnival is through written language, but in political terms everything that is ordinary and is the result of socio-hierarchical inequality or any other from of inequality is non-carnival. There is a lot more to be said about popular culture and a term that Mikhail Bakhtin refers to as "carnivalesque" which we shall explore later, however to really understand the political significance of Notting Hill Carnival we must go back to it's roots. Through the studies of Abner Cohen and more recently Precious Williams we can look back to how the carnival was created, why it was staged, the problems it has caused and the many changes it has gone through in the past decades. The carnival was started by Rahunee Laslett who was a local community leader and former social worker. ...read more.


The police target areas where they know they can remove the ethnic contingent and in turn appease the wealthy population of the area. The crime-rate may have gone down but this is more than likely be due to the way the area is policed, the rich middle-class cocaine snorting contingent are left to their devices while the West Indians and other ethnicities are being stopped and searched. In Precious Williams' piece she makes the point that burglary has fallen by 34 per cent and street crime by 30 per cent, but you have got to ask yourself whether this is a true reflection of actual crime rate or just a result of the police concentrating on certain areas of crime and increasing patrols in the ethnic areas. This has had a knock on effect to the carnival and in recent years with the black population not attending quite as readily as previous years. Unemployed Westbourne Park resident say about the carnival in Williams' piece "it's too white and to commercial" a view backed up by the fact that it is now sponsored by Richard Branson's Virgin company and Kiss FM radio. To make the carnival even more inaccessible to the poorer black population the price of purchasing pretty much anything at the carnival has risen to astronomic proportions and you are more likely to be paying a fiver for a bottle of Evian then drinking West Indian punch. ...read more.


It is also a strong disappointment because of the success and popularity of what has become such a large event, one that still maintains its traditional aims set out by Laslett almost forty years ago. This lack of support creates a vicious circle that means that carnival receives bad press for any trouble or accidents that occur, which may have been prevented with professional organisation. Funding has always been poor and it quite often means that the artists who contribute to the fair are left out of pocket and with a mad rush in the early August months to create their pieces. Carnival is a form of cultural expression that is essential to our society, some argue that it acts as a valve to vent pressure and essentially worry that the sheer scale of the event is a threat to authority. However like Bakhtin I disagree with this notion, instead seeing carnival as a relative ground from which we are able to objectively observe our own society and lives. It has the ability to create a plain of existence that is flat, where co-existence is in a non-hierarchical and naturalistic human expression strives over the barriers that are usually in place. Not only do I consider carnival essential in this political respect but also because of its status as a popular form of mass jollification, something that often goes unnoticed amongst all the controversy created around the carnival. If laughter is meant to be the best medicine then The Notting Hill Carnival is as important to our modern society as penicillin. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Evaluate the Significance of Socilogy To Understand Social Work Practice.

    and postmodern perspectives, each like the other perspectives have their own view of explaining behaviour, individuals and society. Feminists believed that men and women are treated unequally in nearly every aspect of social institutions, including work and the home. There are several variations of feminism such as Marxist feminists, black

  2. Explain and discuss the significance of Mill's work for philosophical considerations of freedom.

    Yet he goes on to state: "The liberty of the individual must thus far be limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people" (p.55). Mill recognized that liberty had to have boundaries. This is best illustrated in his example of the corn dealer: "An opinion that corn

  1. Our Choice

    It is embarrass that others do not recognize the accomplishment and successes you achieved. In Cisneros' case, it was even worse because the misunderstanding and deprecation was from her father, the one she care and loves the most.

  2. The Mayor of Casterbridge

    Henchard too regards reputation with the utmost importance. In the early pages of the novel, while Henchard is searching for his wife he asks "Did I tell my name to anybody last night, or didn't I tell my name?" Immediately we see, despite Henchard's regret for his actions, he is more concerned with his reputation.

  1. Was there a significant increase in freedom of choice of marriage partner in England ...

    and John Milton, both of which, for different reasons wanted to be separated from an un satisfactory partner3. Henry VIII was granted divorce yet this freedom was not granted to the general public until late into the nineteenth century, therefore this reform was not a huge changing point in freedom

  2. Discuss the contention that postmodern culture and post modern living arrangements are diverse, fluid ...

    The pattern of partnership formation has changed over the last 30 years. The proportion of "married people has fallen, while the proportions of single and divorced people have increased". (www.statistics.gov.uk) There has been a doubling in the proportion of households headed by a lone parent with dependent children in

  1. Discuss the significance of both defensive and fortress architecture and the privatisation of public ...

    Although the origin of the fear is perhaps understandable, due to excessively high crime rates amongst these poorer communities, the fear itself within the suburban middle classes is both unjustified and irrational, as the crime rates are not increasing in their area.

  2. To what extent did the British policy of Anglicisation precipitate the Indian rebellions of ...

    The export market disappeared. Food stuffs fell to half their 1820s level and as a consequence de-urbanisation occurred.6 Kings and soldiers, who had the biggest purchasing power, were ousted from their positions with the conquering of India, creating a gap in the consumer market, successful commercial centres were only based around colonial cities and colonials bought western goods.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work