Better than Muslims, not as good as Greeks. Emigration as experienced and imagined by the Albanian Christians of Lunxhëri

Abstract : Lunxhëria is located in southern Albania, near the Greek border, in the district of Gjirokastër. Its population is mainly Christian Orthodox and Albanian-speaking, and notwithstanding its strong claims for Albanian identity, it has close links with the Greek minority of Albanian (Dropull and Pogon), most of all through marriage alliances. The area experienced from the 19th century until the Second World War emigration towards Istanbul, Greece and America, while its inhabitants have masively emigrated to Greece in the 1990s. In the meantime, Arumanians settled in most of the villages, and Muslim Labes in some of them, bringing deep transformations into local society. Based on intensive fieldwork research in Lunxhëria, this paper addresses the relationship between local perceptions and categorisations on the one hand (between Albanianness and Greekness, Muslims and Christians, Albanians and Arumanians, Lunxhotes and Labes, etc.), and the present development of identity and migration strategies on the other hand.
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Gilles de Rapper. Better than Muslims, not as good as Greeks. Emigration as experienced and imagined by the Albanian Christians of Lunxhëri. Russell King, Nicola Mai, Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers. The New Albanian Migration, Sussex Academic Press, pp.173-194, 2005. ⟨halshs-00165725⟩

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