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From the village to the city. The adjustment process of internal migrants in Albania

04 July 2011

PhD ceremony: Ms. E. Caro, 11.00 uur, Doopsgezinde kerk, Oude Boteringestraat 33, Groningen

Dissertation: From the village to the city. The adjustment process of internal migrants in Albania

Promotor(s): prof. L.J.G. van Wissen

Faculty: Spatial Sciences


This thesis examines the adjustment process of Albanian rural migrants moving to the cities, within the context of the capital city, Tirana. The study is based on an ethnographic approach and on qualitative material collected during 2008-2009. To gain insight of the migrant’s perceptions, a combination of several methods conducted with rural migrants in several sites of Kamza Municipality were used. This thesis brings new insights to aid our understanding of the adjustment process of internal migrants, gender and generation differences, the importance of personal, social, economic and cultural resources, the length of residence, and the intertwining of internal and international migration.

Adapting the resource-based model and the theoretical notion of length of residence I was able to clarify the complexity of migrant’s adjustment process. I argue that rural migrants need personal, material, social and cultural resources to satisfy their needs, goals and demands. Socio-cultural clustering constitutes the main social resource for migrants. The longer the rural migrants reside in the city the better their adjustment process. Economic security and willingness assist their adjustment process and that women and younger generation are perceived as better adjusted. Moreover international migration combined with internal migration has built up a social economic and security system for rural migrants, acting as a source of development. However, while the migrants feel more adjusted within their community and environment, they do not yet feel urban or part of Tirana, and as such their adjustment to the broader context is a continuous process.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.41 p.m.

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