Internal Migration and Social Identity Construction: Implications for Prejudice and Stigma in Albanian Post-socialist Society
Abstract: Significant increase of internal migration in Albanian post-socialist society affected people’s connections and their identity. New social phenomena were differently perceived by the existing city inhabitants and the newcomers. On the one hand, the concept of social identity struggled between inclusionary/exclusionary boundaries; on the other hand, prejudice and stigma triggered from this complex reality. This paper applies Social Identity Theory to examine how internal migration affects social identity and its implications on prejudice and stigma in Albanian post-socialist society. This qualitative study is based on desk research and secondary data drawn by national statistics and cross-sectional research conducted in Albania during the period 1991-2017. It concludes that more longitudinal studies should be conducted to understand the dynamics of social identity construction within the context of internal migration in Albania. This is necessary to promote a more inclusive society in order to accommodate social diversity and view internal migrants as local agents of development rather than objects of prejudice and stigma.
International Burch University