Western popular images of Bulgaria are still fused with stereotypes about "the Balkans" as a peripheral "Other". In these constructions, cities and contemporary urban life hardly figure at all.
Seven individual research projects present a variety of urban livelihood strategies, social relations and personal agency in the context of social and cultural change. A central task of social anthropology is to bring the unfamiliar into focus. Although these short studies cannot replace a comprehensive urban ethnography of Sofia, they aim to contribute to a better understanding of Sofia as a major city in contemporary Europe.
Waltraud Kokot is professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Hamburg. Her regional interests are located in Southeastern Europe, mainly in Greece (Thessaloniki) and in Bulgaria (Sofia). Currently, major topics of research include urban anthropology and diaspora studies.