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Interrelationships between gender, care and migration: Albania during and after Communism

posted on 2023-06-09, 06:15 authored by Russell King, Julie Vullnetari
This paper compares the interrelationships between gender, family structures and intra-family care arrangements during two markedly different periods of Albania’s recent history: the communist era dominated by the autocratic statesocialist regime of Enver Hoxha, and the post-communist period dominated by a kind of reactive free-for-all capitalism and high rates of both internal and international migration. Since 1990 Albania has accumulated a ‘stock’ of more than 1.4 million emigrants, mostly living in Greece and Italy. Families have been torn apart by this mass emigration – both husbands from their wives and children, and older generations left behind or ‘orphaned’ by their migrant children. All this contrasts with family, residential and care arrangements during the communist period when not only were families generally living in compact and close proximity, but also a minimum of state welfare was available to support vulnerable and isolated individuals. However, internal migration was part of state economic and social planning, and some families which fell foul of the regime were split up and sent into internal exile. The paper provides a valuable lesson in historicising regimes of gender, family and care across dramatically contrasting social models.


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Malmö University

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  • Geography Publications


Willy Brandt Working Papers in International Migration and Ethnic Relations No. 3/13


Malmö University

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