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‘Looking for a More Modern Life…’: the Role of Italian Television in the Albanian Migration to Italy

Author:

Nick Mai

Department of Sociology London School of Economics
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Abstract

When the communist regime collapsed in early March 2001, 25,700 Albanians tried to escape a situation of violent political confrontation and extreme economic deprivation by trying to reach Italy in a flotilla of boats and rafts of every type. This was to be the first act of a very dramatic migratory flow, which has its roots in the prolonged economic and political instability of Albania. Throughout the 1990s, the restrictive visa polices implemented by the Italian state forced many Albanians to smuggle themselves into Italy by risking their lives on dangerous rides on speedboats across the Adriatic Sea to the Apulia shores. Whereas during communism emigration was forbidden, nowadays more than one in five of the current Albanian population lives abroad and migrants’ remittances are a key strategy of economic survival for Albanian households and society more in general. In fact, about 200,000 Albanians currently live and work in Italy, out of a total population of 3,800,000 in Albania (Barjaba 2000, 69).

How to Cite: Mai, N., (2004). ‘Looking for a More Modern Life…’: the Role of Italian Television in the Albanian Migration to Italy. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 1(1), pp.3–22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.200
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Published on 01 Oct 2004.
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