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The Importance of Personalized Relationships in Post-Socialist Rural Bulgaria: Informality of New Capitalist Entrepreneurs

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Abstract

On arriving in Bulgaria at the end of December 1991 for a preliminary assessment of empirical research on the modalities of the so-called transition from socialist economy to free economy in the agricultural sector, I immediately had a feeling of déjà vu. In fact, aside from obvious historical differences, I was faced with a field situation that I had had the opportunity to study during my various fieldwork in Mediterranean societies, specifically in Sicily, Andalusia and Alentejo (Giordano, 1992). The outset in Sofia was indicative in itself. I had to rely almost entirely on the collaboration of a fellow sociologist from the Academy of Sciences, with whom I had established a personal relationship following our meeting at a conference in Budapest in June 1991, and who was willing to act as my guide and thus as my principal informant. She suggested focusing the research on Dobrudzha, a region in the country’s north-east that, as we shall see, played a specific role in the Bulgarian context, since it is the country’s breadbasket. I agreed to her suggestion, and after renting a car we set off during an exceptional snowstorm for a gruelling trip, since snowplough services were practically non-existent at the time due to the economic and political situation. Once there, we immediately contacted a high-ranking employee of the now-disbanded agricultural trade union, whom we shall call Vesna.

Keywords

  • Agricultural Sector
  • Political Elite
  • Land Reform
  • Land Parcel
  • Agricultural Reform

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2015 Christian Giordano

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Giordano, C. (2015). The Importance of Personalized Relationships in Post-Socialist Rural Bulgaria: Informality of New Capitalist Entrepreneurs. In: Morris, J., Polese, A. (eds) Informal Economies in Post-Socialist Spaces. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137483072_9

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