Redefining Europe: the role of the anthropology of postsocialism in this process
Alina Ioana Branda (Babes-Bolyai University)
Paper short abstract:
My paper aims to approach the contributions of anthropological analyzes on post- socialism to the process of crystallizing nowadays perspectives in the broader, integrative domain of Anthropology of Europe.
Paper long abstract:
I aim to address how and why the anthropological understandings on post-socialism have had a certain role in the process of defining post 1989-1990 Europe. Focusing on the later decades developments in the anthropology of post- socialism, and largely, in the anthropology of Europe, I attempt to formulate adequate research questions, considering at least part of these processes. What are the meanings and the goals of exploring post-socialism nowadays, in the current European and global contexts? Does this approach contribute to a better understanding of recent processes of Europeanization? To what extents the historical divides West - East in the framework of Europe had a contribution to the nowadays fragility of Europe? Is this dichotomy totally abandoned nowadays or does it rather have a peculiar form? What kind of role should the anthropologists have in dismantling these perspectives? Conducting fieldwork, working on different topics especially after 1996 in the framework of the internal/"native" anthropology of post-socialism in Romania (in Transylvania in particular), I attempt to respond to these questions using my research experiences as an important source. I also aim to discuss critically the concept of "anthropology at home" and to analyze its limits and inconveniences nowadays. Permanently, I address questions on the applicability, validity, limits and necessary reformulations of "post-socialism" as concept today, considering the very rapid changes of the European societies. In these contexts, new topics are on the agenda, waiting to be approached, integrated in a reviewed perspective.