The Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini among Kosova Albanians in Sweden

University essay from Malmö högskola/Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS)

Abstract: The Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini is the most famous and comprehensive compilation of Albanian customary law. For centuries it strictly governed social behavior and everyday life among Albanians in different historical periods. Even if the Kanun is not legal today, it is widely respected and still practiced in parts of Albania and Kosova. The aim with this thesis is to study how Kosova Albanians in Sweden relate to the customary laws concerning family and marriage in the Kanun. In order to reach the aim, a qualitative research method was used. We have conducted seven semi-structured interviews with Kosova Albanians living in Sweden, more precisely in Helsingborg, and compared their answers to the traditional laws in the Kanun. The theoretical framework for the thesis is based on the concepts ethnicity and culture, Berger’s and Luckmann’s theory on the social construction of reality and Baumann’s conception of the idea of ethnicity as cultural identity. In our study we found that the Kanun is a good example on how culture is institutionalized and socially constructed. Our results show that the laws stipulated in the sections family and marriage are still practiced with certain changes by Kosova Albanians in Sweden and that there are some gender differences in how the informants perceive their ‘reality’.

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