Multiple Modernities in Bulgaria: Social Strategies of Capitalist Entrepreneurs in the Agrarian Sector
The article focuses on trust/mistrust relations, strategies of cooperation, and emerging conflicts in the period of establishing capitalist reforms in Bulgaria after 1989. In this frame, trust building, as a key challenge for a successful transformation process, is analysed as a premise for cooperation and social cohesion in the process of reforming governance, establishing local institutions, rebuilding civil society, and validating the acknowledged human and natural potential of a "failing" i.e. "fragile state" like Bulgaria. Of specific significance is the analysis of agency in which individuals possess mainly personalised types of trust and cooperation and are suspicious about systemic trust. The analysis of the empirical materials reveals that the agents involved in present capitalist agriculture do not follow the abstract model proposed by transition/consolidation theories but rather they confirm the validity of the multiple modernities approach proposed by S.N. Eisenstadt.
The author considers methodological differences in the use of autobiographies. However, while doing so, he does not focus on technical differences in the application of the method but asks about cognitive possibilities that come (or not) with certain methodological tools. It is through this perspective (epistemological capacity of theory and empirical knowledge) that the author discusses the difference between two very close and yet so separate methods of research: sociological autobiography and anthropological portrait. He refers to Florian Znaniecki’s methodological guidelines and juxtaposes them with other important sociological works. Analysing Znaniecki’s method, he finds elements that make it seem closer to anthropological portrait. This approach is to encourage the readers to look at the method in a different way – as something secondary to the accurate definition of the socio-cultural context for the studied phenomena.