Lost in Transition Short Paper Sample

Published: 2022-06-27 07:04:37
Lost in Transition Short Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Literature Ethnography
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 595 words
5 min read

Ghodsee states that one of the important experiences of transition from communism to capitalism is nostalgia. Her book, Lost in Transition unveils ordinary people from Bulgaria who achieved capitalism through a struggle which was so intense that it made the citizens nostalgic. Ghodsee explains why most Eastern Europeans have nostalgia for their socialist past. She used Bulgaria since it's where she spent most of her time, thus exploring the transition from socialism to democracy. She saw the increasing nostalgia since getting rid of the communist era was disastrous and the transition was handled in a disorienting way. The process of privatization led to contests which came along with chaos that disturbed the peace of everyone. Ghodsee's statement in her book, "But the reverberations of capitalism on people's lives will be with us in the coming years" is a good sign that the citizens will forever be affected by nostalgia (Ghodsee, 2011).

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In the transition process, well-connected foreigners, local people from the oligarch class and criminals utilized this period by taking assets which were formerly owned by the state for themselves. The ordinary citizens felt that this was wrong and that they had been robbed. People were also nostalgic for their safety and the protection of their property (Ghodsee, 2011). Having lost their property to foreigners and citizen with class, they would also have lost their personal properties through theft by state criminals. Also, due to the disappearance of the state's social support system, a vast number of citizens lost their jobs. Lack of employment by citizens was the primary challenge and a blow which caused nostalgia among the citizens. About Ghodsee, (2011), communist travels were despised, and family vacations had no meaning if there was no job to take a vacation from.

For instance, Yordanka struggles in the competitive work market and is cheated out of her wages twice. She also sells her hair after which the hairdresser drops the price after cutting off her hair. The hair dresser's act shows dishonesty among individuals who had benefits over the other individuals (Ghodsee, 2011). Later, the indulged into prostitution since she couldn't hang on to the new system (Ghodsee, 2011). Therefore the geopolitical change led to social implications which Ghodsee says should be understood (Ghodsee, 2011). Another result of the transition was the economic meltdown where prices rose exponentially. Nevertheless, wages were not added for the workers even after the change in monetary value. Economic collapse with no wage rise led most people to experience hardships which cannot be forgotten. Also, the fight for democracy led to the loss of lives (Ghodsee, 2011). Women were left with no husbands, and children with no parents. The loss of loved ones remains a massive blow to those who lost relatives and friends.

Another lady, Damiana fell in love, after which they separated from her lover. The letters he had been sending stopped. The Bulgarian community was holding back the letters, with the fear that she would defect. As a result, the time had elapsed and her lover married another girl (Ghodsee, 2011l). Transition thus was the reason why she didn't have a family of her own. The stories told by Ghodsee shows that there are people who lost as well as those who won when the system changed. The condition of social upheaval and political instability in the country at the time gave the citizens difficulties of coping with the change brought about by the change in state ruling (Ghodsee, 2011).


Ghodsee, K. (2011). Lost in transition: Ethnographies of everyday life after communism. Duke University Press.

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