Lost In Transition: A Comparative Analysis

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Introduction Malcom Forbes once said, "Presence is more than just being there." Sometimes, in Anthropology, nothing is more important than true presence. For authors like Carol Hendrickson and Kristen Ghodsee, this could not be more true. Both authors are practitioners of ethnographical work, which is essentially the organized study of cultures. These organized studies tend to include a holistic view of cultures, from histories to present day habitats, in order to garner an "inside" look at symbolism, relationships, and behavior while attempting to avoid hasty and often reckless explanations. These authors attempt to share with us an insight of worlds that is intimate, ignored, or so far outside of our own paradigms that we may never have…show more content…
Her mentality, like that of many of her peers, was that the world 's civilizations would be reduced to drastically small numbers and dwelling in caves - so why should she waste time studying or doing homework. Why attempt to learn about the world from a book instead of spending what precious few moments remain experiencing it first hand? Ghodsee collected experiences and research over the span of a time from 1989 to 2009 and used this to produce a book of essays and short stories. Some of these are ethnographic, while some remain fiction. In her work Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life after Communism Ghodsee attempts to illuminate an often misunderstood or overlooked phenomenon: sometimes, those that are "freed" from communism actually prefer not to be. The narratives drawn out from Ghodsee 's experience are ones that tell of just how dangerous the lack of a proper transitional plan can be. Much like Hendrickson, Ghodsee clearly grows alongside her experiences all throughout Eastern Europe. This post-communist work focuses on Bulgaria, likely due to the author 's first trip through Europe that was syncopated when the "vibrant yellow fields of sunflowers" held her attention. This first short trip would also be where the author 's greatest revelation came: behind war rhetoric and sensationalism, there is an entire world of normalism that the majority of the population lives…show more content…
GUATEMALAN UPHEAVAL The people of Guatemala have been subject to many life changing events, especially in the last 100 years. In the wake of the Cold War, United States President Harry Truman authorized actions supported by dictators, Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized the CIA to weaponize and train an army that invaded Guatemala in 1954 in conjunction with bombings and propaganda on radio stations. As contrition took its toll and the president of Guatemala eventually resigned. This lead to an eventual coup by the military, again backed by a U.S. President (John F. Kennedy), which prevented elections to continue. In 1966, a new president of Guatemala promised a democratic beginning. However, in the wake of such turmoil, the country was left unstable and suffered the rebellion of many guerrilla movements. As this continued, the country was struck with a natural tragedy in the form of an earthquake, which let an already shaken and impoverished people without food or housing, leading to even more unrest in the nation. At the end of this coup-ridden Guatemalan Civil War, a majority of the indigenous population was killed, forced to flee to Mexico, or lived in

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