London is a big place and residents have mentally divided the city into quarters to make more sense of where everything is. Inevitably, people began gathering in certain divisions and built reputations and stereotypes for each area. As time went on, people automatically began associating certain qualities to a person depending on where they live.
Some people would call foul on the proliferation of such stereotypes, but recent surveys seem to confirm the hypothesis that Londoners have drawn lines across the city. It is an interesting case to see how Londoners see their neighbours from different postal codes and then finding if those views reflect reality.
Londoners that are more discerning are quick to point out that there are actually five divisions when talking about divisions of accommodations in London. These of course include North, North East, West, South West and South East corners. But, for the purposes of this article, the focus will remain on the four main quadrants.
It was interesting to note that almost all of the divisions had their fair share of positive and negative associations. West London seemed to be the only exception, or rather had the least number of negative stereotypes with most reactions describing it as ‘Posh’ and ‘Clean’. It is easy to see why people would feel that way about the West because of areas such as Kensington, Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush.
In contrast, East London received the brunt of the Londoners’ opinion, with people calling the area ‘Gritty’ and ‘Rough’. The biggest reasons for this perception might be the current states of Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Shoreditch and Hoxton. Reactions were more subdued when the discussion turned to both South and North London in the sense that singular adjectives fully encapsulated what Londoners thought these areas were.
North London holds the distinction of being primarily thought of as ‘Intellectual’ – the only area that elicited such a reaction. The South, on the other hand, was ‘Suburban’ and ‘Family-friendly’, edging closely towards ‘Dull’, which is not very bad for people looking for a quiet place to live.
These perceptions are part of the elements people subconsciously consider when they are looking for a place to live so these ideas can become useful in the future.