After living and working in Budapest for nearly a month I have started to breakdown the differences between my life within the US and my current life in Hungary. I have started to understand how social constructionism plays a major role in uncovering the ways in which individuals and groups perceive their present social reality. I also see social constructionism as an idea that people build their own lives and cultures within publics spaces. But how does this happen? People look at various forms of social phenomenas within their distinct cultural context based upon: created socialization, institutionalized, known or learned and in turn how that becomes tradition or habit to humans. City and culture are etymologically and historically linked. The public spaces are places of citizenship, polis, and places of politics.
In a previous post I noted how I am particularly interested in how the development of a city around a non-automized plan creates a fundamental dimension within a social context that optimized opportunities for contact and meeting within both streets and public spaces. Ethnographically I have observed that within Budapest the culture of Hungarians can be reflected within its publics spaces, both from a historical contexts and a present day transformation of the city.
I lived in Budapest eight years ago and have drastically seen a difference in the occupation of public spaces and the reclamation of the Hungarian heritage post-communism. In Hungary, street names have been changed based upon historical events and political transformations. Sometime during the past eight years previous metro stops, street names, and avenues that once referenced Russian/Soviet names have transformed back to their previous Hungarian names. Obviously I am not Hungarian, however I think it’s a critical transformation to note as I feel like it’s a nationalist move to regain what is Hungarian. Within the US our culture is a culture of many. It is interesting to live within a mostly homogeneous population. I have begun to notice that culture identity is a very important symbol within the public realm of Budapest. I look forward to exploring more public spaces and understanding how the historical culture of Hungarians are in represented within Budapest.