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MARIST SOC 101 - Observation Report Mahwah, New Jersey VS. Paterson New Jersey

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Professor Kimberly Mazza Sociology 101L11219F Observation Report Mahwah, New Jersey VS. Paterson New Jersey For my observation report, I chose to evaluate two areas from my home state of New Jersey that I best feel represent both ends of the classification spectrum. I selected Mahwah, New Jersey to observe as my upper-middle-class neighborhood and Paterson, New Jersey as my lower-class neighborhood. The reason I chose Mahwah is that I live there and who better to talk about what it has to offer than me? The reason I chose Paterson is that it is a polar opposite to the town of Mahwah. Entering this project, I was hesitant since the city of Paterson is not the best area. “Norms are the specific cultural expectations for how to behave in a given situation. With norms in place, people know how to act, and social interactions are consistent, predictable, and learnable” (Anderson & Taylor, 2020, p.38). If you live anywhere around Mahwah you know the norms of the city of Paterson. You know it is not the best place to be when you are alone and you know how to “dress” and act while passing through. Mahwah, New Jersey Home conditions: The houses in the town of Mahwah vary depending on what side you reside on. Mahwah is typically split into 3 parts, condos, houses, and “mansions”. First, there are condo associations.If you take a right off of Darlington Ave and make a right onto Ridge Road, is where almost all of the condo associations are. There is Society Hill Kilmer Woods I, Darlington Ridge, Ridge Gardens, and Society Hill Kilmer Woods II. All of these associations are connected and each has the same amenities such as a pool, a tennis court, a basketball court, and a small park. I know this because I was a lifeguard there last summer. I would rotate between the different condo associations each week. Next is the houses of Mahwah. They are all relatively the same size and quality but are very diverse in how they look on the outside and how they are maintained. I live at the end of the road in the cul-de-sac and if you drive down the street you can see the difference in how everyone takes care of their yards. Some of the grass is greener than others and some are filled with plants, bushes, and flowers while others are not maintained at all. Last is Rio Vista Mahwah. It is a private community on many acres of park-like meadows and rolling hills in Bergen County, NJ. Surrounded by Campgaw Mountain and the Ramapo Reservation, residents can enjoy the mountain views and a community rich with amenities and services. When you enter Rio Vista, you do not feel like you are in Mahwah anymore. Each house is flushed with amenities. Many have in-ground pools and patios featuring beautiful stonework and a nice big front and back yard. Every house is very well presented with a beautiful green front yard with flowers and well-maintained shrubs. Automobiles:The automobiles in this neighborhood are in line with the quality of the homes. They are middle to high end, but not luxury. The majority of these vehicles are SUVs as the area is filled with families. There are some nicer vehicles, an occasional BMW or Porsche for the ones who want to sand out. This lines up with the definition of consumerism, as well as a method of portraying their social status. The most common vehicles brands to see include Volkswagen, Volvo, Honda, Nissan, and Jeep. Education Systems: There are several educational institutions in the town of Mahwah. They range from Preschool to Collegiate level. There are several options for Preschool and elementary school, they are Lenape Meadows (Pre-K-3), Betsy Ross (K-3), George Washington School (K-3), and Joyce Kilmer School (4-5). For middle school, if you want to stay in the town of Mahwah, the only choice is Ramapo Ridge Middle School which is grades 6-8. After the Ridge, most people usually attend Mahwah High School (9-12) or some will go to 1 out of the 3 local all-boys private schools (Don Bosco Prep, St Joseph Regional, or Bergen Catholic). The highest level of education offered in Mahwah is Ramapo College of New Jersey (RCNJ). Although this school is phenomenal, many people like to leave the town of Mahwah for college. Although all of these schools offer exceptional education, I did not attend any of these schools. I went to The Academy of St. Paul in Ramsey, NJ from Preschool to 8th grade. For high school, I went to one out of two local all-girls private schools, Academy of the Holy Angels inDemarest, NJ. The other private school I could have gone to was Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, NJ. Parks & Recreation Centers: The town of Mahwah has many parks and amenities all over. To start there is the Mahwah pool where many people spend the hot summer days. There is the Mahwah Public Library where I used to go a few days out of the week to get my homework done. The Ramapo Reservation is a notable hiking trail that people from all over Bergen County come and enjoy. The local elementary schools feature playgrounds and fields open to the public outside of school hours. A similar method is used by the high schools in regards to their football fields, gyms, and basketball courts. Business (Conditions, Product & Quality): Mahwah, New Jersey is predominantly a residential location. Due to this business are located in plazas around the town. These plazas will include stores such as Stop & Shop, Starbucks, CVS, some fast food places, and also some little boutique-style stores. One of the main attractions in Mahwah is the Stateline Diner. That is a go-to hangout for many locals. The diner is open 24 hours and is always filled with middle school to college students. There are also a few malls within proximity to the town of Mahwah, For example, the main mall around is theGarden State Plaza which is located in Paramus, NJ. It is relatively a 15-20-minute drive. These plazas and malls satisfy the needs of consumers in the area. Public Works: The general upkeep of the town is never really a big issue. The roads are almost always in good condition, aside from a few potholes here and there that will take weeks to get fixed. The landscaping of the town is always presentable. In the winter, the snowplows either show up quickly or they take a while to get to you, there is no in-between. Available Services (Medical, Law Enforcement, Religious): In the area, there is no shortage of services for those seeking any form of help/treatment. As to religion, all kinds of


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