Accepted Paper:

Ideology and the citizen: an ethnography of concepts and praxis in socialist and post-socialist/capitalist Albania  


Olsi Lelaj (Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Arts Studies, Tirana, Albania)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of this paper is to give a perspective on the ideal type 'new man' that ideological systems as communism and capitalist democracy imposed on the Albanian citizen through the primary obligatory socializing public institutions.

Paper long abstract:

Ideology is an important tool not only for groups and governments political action but also for individual behavior. It is difficult to see how individuals can live without some adherence to values and beliefs which make up their own ideological system and define their actions. The role of ideology in the lives of individuals, groups and nations may well be inconsistent but it can also be quite significant and dramatic at times, especially in defining the citizen ought to be related to the state and the way round. For the Albanian collectivity, the crumbling down of Berlin Wall signified, in one hand, the end of the communist project of citizenship, based on collective justice, and the triumph, in the other hand, of market-economy democracy project of citizenship, based on materialist freedoms. Though, both projects, were, in overall, part of the big Western project of citizenship and interdependent on each other, they differentiated, in content, from the way political ideologies make use of the public space as a mode in which signification is corporate as part and parcel of what one does in daily life as a citizen. Therefore, the 'Ideal type' of citizen is manifested and imposed on the individuals through the primary obligatory public socializing institutions i.e elementary schools and secondary educations, aiming that from the ideological realm to produce in the public space the 'new man'.

Panel W033
Anthropology of policies and ideology of capitalism in the EU