Identity in the Narratives of Albanian Return Migrants from Greece
Immigration is one of the most important social and economic phenomena in post-communist Albania. Following the fall of
communism in 1989, hundreds of thousands of Albanians fled their country in search of a better life. Their destination was mainly
Greece and Italy, because of their geographical proximity. After having lived in Greece for a considerable time period, a small but
increasing number of Albanian migrants decided to return. The number is increasing rapidly during the last year, because of the Greek
debt crisis. In this study we try to explore the main factors that motivated their return to Albania (we do not include the last years’
returnees. This is another project of ours for the near future). Such might be family, success or failure in their personal life, in their work,
etc. Did the Albanian government provide incentives for their return or was it a decision based on their limited knowledge of Albanian
reality? A second aim is to understand the difficulties of their re-socialization. Albania has changed vastly since they left and, therefore, a
reintegration to the new conditions is necessary. It is a different cultural setting that favors a double identity, a new Greek identity, and an
old Albanian one that needs to change in order to adapt to the new conditions.
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