The Albanian Census of 1918

Tirana & Shkodra (1918-1938)

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Tirana and Shkodra: Demographic and historical-anthropological trends in two Albanian cities (1918-1938)

The research project will focus on four main aims:
1) Social and economic framework: quarter (mahallë) structure, incomes and subsistence, standards of living, wages and costs of living, stratification of the population, professions and handicrafts.
2) General demographic trends: number of inhabitants; ethnic and religious affiliation, mortality, fertility patterns (age specific fertility rates), age and sex structure of the population and in-migration according to quarters (mahallë) and social strata; change of the demographic composition caused by in-migration; birth control and demographic transition; rural-urban differentials.
3) Households and families: household types and domestic cycle, household formation systems, household size; marriage: age at marriage, marriage behavior and remarriage according to ethnic and religious affiliation, residence patterns, importance of virginity; spousal age  (age gap) and status; economic bases of marriage; polygyny among Muslims; marriage arrangements (dowry and bride price) and arranged marriages, social endogamy; family planning, birth control and abortion; divorces; family ideology (wives and husbands, parents and children; role of the household head); bachelorhood; child health and surviving; division of labor and gender roles, motherhood; generations and generational conflict, property transmission; widows and widowers.
4) Urban culture: capital (Tirana) versus provincial city (Shkodra); social status of city-life in contrast to rural life; the question of de-Ottomanization and westernization of city planning and everyday-life (architecture, clothing, visions in city planning, public buildings); clothing and distinction; maintenance and creation of moving and circulation spaces for the population; promenades and “stages”; (meeting)spaces for different generations and sexes; analyses of the different quarters and their differences, function and outlook of the bazars; housing situation, servants; interaction of the people (male and female spaces; Christian and Muslim spaces; were did people meet in public?; function of the coffee houses; privacy and visits); education and schooling, table manners; urban (political, social, religious) elites and their everyday-life, everyday-life of the other social strata, social mobility; cultural life (theaters, cinemas, libraries, journals and newspapers); feminist movements; transportation systems and urban infrastructure.

The research project is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (Fonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung) and lasts from August 2003 until July 2006.

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by Siegfried Gruber, November 10, 2004