2.2(b) Mapping people


To build up a picture of the people who make up the community.

You need

As in 2.2(a) Mapping Places and at least an hour. You may also want to record what people tell you on a tape.

What to do

Cartoon illustrating topic

Undertake the same process as above, but this time, building up a picture of the people who live and use the facilities in the community. Remember, a local school or college may have students from outside the immediate area. A factory or business may be vital to the area, but its workforce may largely not live nearby. Similarly, some people who live in the area may work far away and also may use facilities and go to groups and clubs not in the area.

Visual information

Add some photos of particular groups or individuals in the community – with permission. Match up the people with their views you have recorded. Take cuttings from newsletters and papers of local stories.

Verbal information

Record a few clips from people about how long they have lived in the area, what they like and don’t like about it, whether other members of their family live nearby or far away, where they do their shopping, what they think of the local transport. Has the pattern of people living in the area changed? Have people come to live in the area recently from abroad? If so, you may want to display this by a world map and lines drawn from some of the community’s countries of origin. Is there a resident or local historian who could come to your group and talk about the area, its people and its background? The local library might have contacts to follow up.

Written information

Research how many people live in the area. What is the age profile? Are there many families with very young children? Have new groups recently arrived, such as asylum seekers? Or has recent demolition of some housing meant people have had to leave? The housing department and council planning department should be able to help. What next? What is your community map looking like? Are there things going on or places you didn’t know about? What do people make of where they live? Is there a range of different opinions? Can you group these in any way? Does this give you any emerging sense of key issues and concerns faced by different groups in the community? Do the issues you are uncovering mirror what is said in, for example, the community or parish plan, or by the community forum? Use the wool or string and Blu-Tack to make links across the map.

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