Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Sociology, University of Bucharest

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2001
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Michigan
Kinship, Domestic Relations and the Socialist State: Housing Nationalization and Restitution in Romania (1950- )

What is the role of houses in the reproduction of kinship relations? Numerous scholars from disciplines ranging from sociology to history and architecture have studied space and housing. Anthropologists drew attention to the distinctive role houses have in the everyday reproduction of kinship relations, a key form of social organization across cultures. Yet little is known about how domestic and kinship relations change when the buildings people call home are expropriated by states, a common experience in the former state socialist countries. I will use (1) Claude Levi-Strauss’ work on the house, (2) studies of households and of family history, (3) literature on idioms of relatedness, and (4) theories of the socialist state in order three hypothesis about transformations of kinship for the families that lost their houses. My research will use archival material, interviews and kinship charts in order to compare domestic groups from nationalized and non-nationalized houses from one neighborhood from Bucharest. My interdisciplinary training, past research experience and the exploratory research I have done in the summers of 1999 and 2000 will enable me to successfully complete this project. I expect my findings to enhance the existing knowledge on (1) kinship relations, (2) property relations (especially in Eastern Europe), (3) built environment and (4) anthropology of the state.