Type of paper: Report

Topic: Vehicles, Socialism, People, Socialist, Time, Literature, Symbolism, Distinction

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2020/11/06

Reading Report

“Go, Trabi, Go!”: Reflections on a Car and Its Symbolization over Time by Daphne Berdahl is quite thought-provoking. I have never realized how a particular thing may become a symbol of epoch and how this particular thing may be used as an expression of nation's dignity and respect to the past it had. “The historical problem of how things become resonant” (Berdahl) and the conditions of it interested the author and, thus, a reader as well.
There are some key take-away issues that the author brought up in the article. First of all, this is that the little car “embodied the lack of product innovation and consumer choice” in East Germany. For many people these things were crucial for distinction “between the socialist East and capitalist West.” (Berdahl) The Trabi was a luxury possession in the “economy of shortages” and some people saved for a half of lifetime for this splattering car.
Secondly, with the fall of the Wall the Trabi became “a symbol of new-found freedom and mobility.” (Berdahl) It represented socialist ineffectiveness and industrial backwardness because it had no chance against West German Mercedes and BMWs. The Trabi was taken as a proof of failure of socialism and triumph of capitalism. The key mission was now to bring up new group of consumers out of former GDR citizens. Continuous “devaluation of the East German past by dominant West German” (Berdahl) through the monetary devaluation of the Trabi contributed to this aim.
Thirdly, the new phenomenon appeared. The East German people tried to emphasize the distinction between them and the West Germans. They used the Trabi instead of recently bought Opels, drank East German beer or bought the eastern German laundry. This was not a “desire to recover the old socialist political system”, this was an effort “to affirm a sense of personal worth and dignity.” (Berdahl)

Work Cited

Berdahl, Daphne. “Go, Trabi, Go!”: Reflections on a Car and Its Symbolization over Time” Anthropology and Humanism 25(2) 2001: 131-141. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 06) Anthropology Reports Example. Retrieved May 31, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/anthropology-reports-example/
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"Anthropology Reports Example." WePapers, Nov 06, 2020. Accessed May 31, 2023. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/anthropology-reports-example/
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Anthropology Reports Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/anthropology-reports-example/. Published Nov 06, 2020. Accessed May 31, 2023.

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