The socioeconomic role in linguistic and cultural identity preservation – the Albanian case in Italy


In this article, author explores the impact of ever changing social and economic environment in the preservation of cultural and linguistic identity, with a focus on Albanian community in Italy. Comparisons between first major migration of Albanians to Italy in the XV century and most recent ones in the XX, are drawn, with a detailed study on the use and preservation of native language as main identity trait. This comparison presented a unique case study as the descendants of Arbëresh (first Albanian major migration) came in close contact, in a very specific set of circumstances, with modern Albanians. Conclusions in this article are substantiated by the survey of 85 immigrant families throughout Italy. The Albanian language is considered one of the fundamental elements of Albanian identity. It was the foundation for the rise of the national awareness process during Renaissance. But the situation of Albanian language nowadays in Italy among the second-generation immigrants shows us a fragile identity.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22804250v9i1p221

Keywords: Language identity; national identity; immigrants; Albanian language; assimilation

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