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Webdesign J. Groß

Berit Backer
Behind Stone Walls:
Changing Household Organisation
among the Albanians of Kosovo

Edited by Robert Elsie and Antonia Young,
with an introduction and photographs by Ann Christine Eek

Albanian Studies, Vol. 10

ISBN 978-1508747949
Centre for Albanian Studies, London 2015
326  pp.

‘Behind Stone Walls’ is a sociological, or more specifically, a social anthropological study of traditional Albanian society. It focuses, in particular, on the formation and evolution of household and family structures among the Kosovo Albanians and was written on the basis of field work carried out by the author in the village of Isniq in western Kosovo in 1976. The study provides the reader with a fascinating glimpse into an exotic world which will soon belong to the past, as the author predicted.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface, by Robert Elsie

Introduction: Berita - the Norwegian Friend of the Albanians, by Ann Christine Eek

BEHIND STONE WALLS

Acknowledgement

1. INTRODUCTION

Family and Household
Family – Types, Stages, Forms
Demographic Processes in Isniq
Fieldwork
Data Collection

2. ISNIQ: A VILLAGE AND ITS FAMILIES

Once upon a Time
Going to Isniq
Kosovo
First Impressions
Education
Sources of Income and Professions
Traditional Adaptation
The Household: Distribution in Space
Household Organization
Household Structure
Positions in the Household
The Household as an Economic Unit

3. CONJECTURING ABOUT AN ETHNOGRAPHIC PAST

Ashtu është ligji – Such are the Rules
The So-Called Albanian Tribal Society
The fis
The bajrak
Economic Conditions
Land, Labour and Surplus in Isniq
The Political Economy of the Patriarchal Family or the Patriarchal Mode of Reproduction

4. RELATIONS OF BLOOD, MILK AND PARTY MEMBERSHIP

The Traditional Social Structure: Blood
The Branch of Milk – the Female Negative of Male Positive Structure
Crossing Family Boundaries – Male and Female Interaction
Dajet - Mother’s Brother in Kosovo
The Formal Political Organization
Pleqësia Again
Division of Power between partia and pleqësia
The Patriarchal Triangle

5. A LOAF ONCE BROKEN CANNOT BE PUT TOGETHER

The Process of the Split
Reactions to Division in the Family
Love and Marriage
The Phenomenon of Sworn Virgins and the Future of Sex Roles

Glossary of Albanian Terms Used in this Book

Bibliography

Isniq – a Picture Story. Photographs from the Village of Isniq (Kosovo) in 1976,
by Ann Christine Eek

 

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