Reconstructing Self- Identity: The Image of Albanian as “The Other”


  • Brunilda Zenelaga University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania
  • Aida Goga University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania



other, self-identity, immigrants, host society


The “other” is seen as a social construction, which helps the establishing of the own identity. To explore how self-identity is reconstructed through deconstructing the image of “the other”, we chose to analyze the case of migrants, who are positioned as ‘the other’ and are treated as distant from the host societies. Albanians in Italy, especially those who have experienced the exodus of March and August of 1991, are at the center of the analysis, because they were the first ones in contact with the Italian society, after the collapse of the communist regime. The secondary data from the literature review and the qualitative primary data, generated from the biographical narration of eighteen people have been used to explore the phenomenon. In order to meet this research criteria, there are some questions to be answered which will help in solving the core issues of the problem. How the boats that arrived from Albanian coasts in Italy did create the image in the plural of settled people as “the other”? Which were the strategies used by these people to deconstruct the image as “the other”? How has self-identity been reconstructed through the time? The research pointed out that the image of “the other”, as a universal process, is created more quickly under the influence of factors that make the "other" more visible, such as the massive exodus through the boats. Although the mimesis tendency was adopted in Albanian immigrants’ case, pushed by the will for a positive social identity, the coexistence with the natives helped to rebuild the perceptions, attitudes, behaviors, and identities, even though self-identity is a never-ending process.


Received: 2 January 2021 / Accepted: 27 February 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021


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How to Cite

Reconstructing Self- Identity: The Image of Albanian as “The Other”. (2021). Journal of Educational and Social Research, 11(2), 140.