Lives in Transition

By Bettina van Hoven-Ignaski
December 2003
Prentice Hall / Pearson Education
ISBN: 0-13-091090-2
208 Pages, Illustrated
$67.50 paper original

This book gives a voice to people living through change, opening a door for outsiders to understand how such people have lived - an opportunity for one to speak and another to listen. The book has been deliberately written in an accessible, engaging and first-hand manner. Original quotes from various projects are woven together throughout the text. The book focuses explicitly on the experiences of respondents and functions largely to introduce themes and speakers.

The principal themes are- identities, relationships, production, consumption and power. Except for selected crucial theoretical and methodological discussions, any academic commentary, which might overshadow the words of the respondents, is kept to a minimum. A key aim is to engage the readers with the text by confronting them with their own preconceptions. Each chapter opens with two activity sections to help readers think about the themes in broader terms, for example by doing some research themselves, and closes with two further activity sections for review and discussion.

Features: up-to-date review of theories in post-socialist contexts and methodological concerns; more than 200 original quotes; 4 activity sections per chapter- 'finding facts', 'understanding terms and concepts', ' review and discussion' and 'perception and opinion'; brief project descriptions of research included in this book. Europe-- Lives in Transition will be of interest to academics and students in geography and politics departments, and for anyone with an interest in how 'transition' has affected the lives of people living throughout Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.

Author biography: Bettina van Hoven is a lecturer in the Department of Cultural Geography at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her areas of interest include Eastern Europe, gender, power and identity. Her most recent project is about prisons and other confined spaces.

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