Social Anthropologist: Bulgarian Community Is Highly Fragmented

Society | January 20, 2021, Wednesday // 12:54
Bulgaria: Social Anthropologist: Bulgarian Community Is Highly Fragmented

Perhaps the specific events related to the inauguration of new US President Joe Biden seem like something that doesn't directly affect us. However, the global electorate is changing under the influence of this dynamics but how, if at all?

Social anthropologist Haralan Aleksandrov answers these and other questions in "Our Day" radio talk show:

"This is the first time in many years that we see such a dramatic transition in the governance of the United States, the country with the greatest influence on the global processes. And part of the drama is based on the glowing passions, the destructive behavior of some American voters - something that is not so surprising, given the development of the economy and public relations, and the strong exacerbating of inequalities, the emergence of large groups of losers in recent years.

What is startling is that it is happening exactly in the United States – this beacon of democracy, example of stability and predictability (at least as far as domestic politics is concerned). The truth is, we are just beginning to study these processes."

Haralan Aleksandrov explained that we face an entirely new situation in terms of attitudes and behavior of large electoral groups. It is influenced, in general, by specific cultural and economic changes, by technological revolution that has created a new parallel world – the total reality of social media, in which people generate new opinions, form new groups, create new borders and coalitions.

"The effect of all these factors is the apparent radicalization of the political behavior of significant groups of people. This, of course, bodes for destabilization in public life."

How the Bulgarian electorate responds to these processes?

"With my colleagues we had the opportunity to explore the Bulgarian diaspora – which is a different group in European countries and in the US. I can say that Bulgarians are very divided on a social basis - many of them supported Trump... What I have witnessed in these contacts makes me think that at the moment in the US the division is deeper and more dramatic than in Bulgaria.

As for our case – these processes are quite apparent. There are clearly distinct groups of excited, active, motivated, committed citizens who, however, do not know the rest of the world – society is very fragmented, not only electorally (which is likely to affect the next parliament), but mentally and culturally.

This is the new phenomenon. It turns out that universal means of communication, unlimited access to information that the internet ensures, the tremendous opportunities for self-realization and publicity that social media provide have not resulted in greater social cohesion, but on the contrary – led to greater division and fragmentation."


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