Social Constructionism within Budapest

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Social Constructionism within Budapest

  1. I found your blog when you reposted yesterday’s Hungarian Spectrum to yours. I am deeply interested in the city of Budapest, having visited yearly since 2004. Details such as specific name changes would be interesting–the major one is Moskva tér to Szell Kalman tér. The other major one is the transformation of ‘Republic Square’ to Pope John Paul the Twenty Second. I would welcome greater specificity! ….Also I looked around and was unable to find out who you are, what you are doing in Budapest. I am interested in following your blog.

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    1. Hi Gretchen,

      My name is Cassidy Rosen and I am currently living in Budapest. Sorry this is my first time using wordpress so I am still figuring how to get my “about me” section to appear. Regardless, I lived in Budapest in 2006-2007 as an exchange student through Rotary International and had an opportunity to attend high school (all in Hungarian), live with Hungarians and spent the entire year learning Hungarian and about Hungary. I completed my university studies in the US in architecture and ethnic studies, worked for a year doing drafting for a structural engineer and decided I wanted to move back to Budapest. I am currently working at an international kindergarten teaching English and interning with a non-profit, Magyar Urbanisztikai Társaság (http://www.mut.hu).

      I am interested in understanding how major economic ideologies, i.e.: capitalism and socialism play out within defining public space. I am very interested in how the built environment is a direct reflection of socio-political transformation, i.e., my specific interest in the renaming of streets, plazas, etc. In regards to the renaming of streets here is a short article in English (http://www.thedaily.hu/signs-be-damned-budapest-street-renaming-debate-continues/), I have several other articles I can post with additional information. I myself can’t speak on behalf of Hungarians, as I am not Hungarian, but I have talked with several of my host families (from when I was an exchange student) and friends and it’s definitely a controverisal topic. Many people I talk with think it was an unnecessary expense to rename everything, as it is expensive to reprint maps, metro signs, bus signs, etc. However, is it also vital to reclaiming some form of the Hungarian identity within these spaces? That is something I am continuously learning about while living in Budapest. Thanks for your interest in my blog!!

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      1. Thank you Cassidy! I have been thinking that, now with Paks 2, Szell Kalman could be Moszkva tér again. I have an old book, “Budapest: Építészettörténete, Városképei és Müemlékei”, printed in 1959. What is best about this book are the maps which show the old names of Oktogon, Erzebet, etc. …When the most recent street re-naming began I tried to keep a list of them–but this was very difficult to do from the States.
        (I am trying to learn the language, but I am not up to reading newspapers as yet) Here are the authors of the book–perhaps you can find a copy in one of the myriad 2nd hand stores: Dr. Borsos Béla, Sódor Alajos, Zádor Mihály. The publisher was Mûszaki Könyvkiadó.

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