chapter  1
20 Pages

Witnessing sociological lives in Central and Eastern Europe

In November of 1989, the image of workers with jackhammers perched atop the Berlin Wall, as if dancing to the beat of the rock music blaring amidst the celebrative crowds below, powerfully and poignantly broadcast to the world the independence of Central and Eastern Europe and the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union.' Foreshadowed by the rise of Solidarity and the revolt of the Gdansk shipyard workers in Poland almost a decade earlier, with the great transformation that followed, the climate for sociology in the region changed dramatically. Planned economies were quickly replaced by newly emerging markets, and through them increased articulation with world markets and world sociology, as well as the forces of globalization.'