New Albanian immigrants in the old Albanian diaspora: Piana degli Albanesi

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This paper examines the encounter between 'new' Albanian immigrants who arrived since 1990, and the 'old' Albanian diaspora (Arbëresh) in a Sicilian town, Piana degli Albanesi. It demonstrates the complex problems that arise when recent migrant groups move into communities with similar historical roots but with a long history as a separate socio-historical and cultural unit. The paper is in six parts. In the first, I briefly introduce the history of migration into this town and the methodology for data collection. The second section discusses the concept of diaspora and the ways the different Arbëresh and Albanian communities fit this concept; the similarities and differences between the two communities are examined. The third section analyses a survey of a group of Arbëresh and a group of Albanians from Piana regarding their feelings and attitudes towards each other, which shows the existence of social conflict between the two groups. The fourth section presents the sociolinguistic relations between Arbëresh and Albanians, emphasising patterns of linguistic subordination of the Albanian immigrants and investigating the motivations of the conflict between the two groups. The fifth section examines the two communities assessing their diglossic and di-ethnic nature, in order to better understand their relations and to illuminate prospects for future development and co-existence. In the last section I summarise current and historical differences between the two immigrant groups with regard to linguistic and cultural maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1032
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Albanian migrants
  • Arbëresh
  • Diaspora
  • Ethnicity
  • Sicily
  • Sociolinguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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