Western Cultures and their influence in Kosovo - Albanian families after the war

When we talk about families we might know that it is a community which is part of a whole society. Aristotle in his book “Politics I” defines family as that specific form of koinwnia (community, association) which integrates individuals into a common life that enables them to become, as members of an oikos, members of a polis (political community, city-state) as well. Creating a family is a big contribution to the society and to a whole state. Kathy D., a female writer, would say that family bonds are a link to our beginning and a guide to our future.(Kathy D.,2007). But, the concept of the word “family” is vanishing day by day. The importance of it is vanishing too. Since the world started to become more modern, there was a group of states who were touched more by this modernism. These states are the so-called Western European countries. The United Nations Statistics Division published in 2011 considers Western Europe to consist of the following nine countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands and Switzerland. On the other hand, the vanishing of importance of family in western culture is influencing the other not so modern states. One of these states is also Kosovo which has experienced a war during the period 1998-2000. We will only focus on the changes that have happened in the family culture after this period. There are three main aspects in which the western culture has influenced this country’s culture: attitude, language and style of the family. One of the main aspects that this culture may have impacted is the attitude of the members in the family. During the time before war, woman used to be more emancipated. Apart from legal constraints stemming from long-standing patriarchal


the computers.(Valur Ingimundarson. we also have to keep in mind the memory of the 1990s. the children started to think differently. Then there is the father’s figure which has also changed in the families of today. 2003)Another attitude that has changed is that of the children. women took a new position and role in the family. Immediately after the war ended. There was a time of matriarchal period. When the war ended. when women were particularly hard hit when the Milosevic regime deprived them of basic healthcare. They now weren’t as respectful as in the past. All they want is having fun with friends forgetting all about the family. In most of the cases in Kosovo after war. the children of the Kosovar families being exposed to these cultures. children spend more time in the streets rather than in the house. start changing their attitude too. the Kosovars were more exposed to new modern things that earlier were prohibited to them. The internet and TV shows different cultures so. Children used to respect their parents and listen to what they say and consult with them. This is related to the fact that parents are not having much free time to stay with their children. According to a journal written by Valur Ingimundarson. when men used to work and women stayed at home. cell-phones started and so. they arrange a babysitter or the send their children in the kinder garden at early age.traditions. Before war this used to be different. Then the evolution of the internet. Women still do not have access to quality heath care in Kosovo. The matriarchal period ended. education. They no longer respect their parents. Only 13% of women in Kosovo live on their own income (the corresponding percentage for men 41%)?that means that 87% are dependent on others for their livelihood. both parents are working and since they don’t have time. They were no longer the emancipated once. Nowadays. and employment. 2 . However in some rural places women have to give up from their inheritance.

pp. The family members’ attitude had taken a new path. Children are now getting their education in the streets and resembling it in the house. This is happening also in Kosovo.8) The language has become different. men spoke the most whereas women and children had to obey. members of the family used to respect each other especially the children. The statistics of Kosovo Police say that only this year there has been 244 reported cases of violation in the family. whereas last year the number was 392. the role of father was not central anymore. The third and final aspect spotted to have changed is the style in which a family is organized. According to the Albanian sociologist Shaip Hasani these cases of violation in the family come as a part of problems inside the family which than are directly related to the daily social problems. More and more 3 . Now that women had more rights and started to work too. language has taken a negative site towards the earlier once used. fathers were no more the main supporters of the family. A second aspect in which Western Cultures have changed Kosovo’s culture is also the language spoken in the family. After war. In Western Europe another phenomena which is rising is the couples which are living together but are not married. They hear a word with bad meaning and use it inside the house too. Women became important too. Before war. And men on the other hand started to respect women more. women became more aware of their rights and started speaking too. So.When the matriarchal period ended. in the way that now there are higher tones and different street language used in the house. Women raised their voice and today there are still cases where women even tend to beat their husbands. Before war.( Daily Newspaper “Tribuna Shqiptare”.11th of August 2011. An article of the date 11th of August in the daily newspaper “Tribuna Shqiptare” is about violation in the family.

In these cases. and solitary living has grown enormously in our own day. Before war. the Low Countries and Scandinavia family groups had been simple in composition and quite modest in size for many centuries before industrialization. Married children only seldom lived with their parents. because there still exists the importance of a family as a community of a state. It is true that the family group has become much smaller in the 20th century.2011). in Kosovo. servants have disappeared. But this has changed. and as a country which has suffered a lot and had been isolated. Since it’s not far from the Western European countries. But still even after changing in the way of thinking. 4 . Maybe this is the reason why Kosovo has still not deviated that much. especially the British Isles. Than there is another extreme change that has happened in the aspect that women no longer want to live with their parents in law. Peter Laslett.(Peter Laslett.girls want to live together with their boyfriend even though they are not married. the way of speaking and the way of looking. and two couples in one family household were quite unusual. That’s why many couples are creating their family nowadays in the cities. This is happening in Kosovo too. women were obliged to live in the same house as their parents in law. women desire to take their husbands to the city and live with them there. it is mostly influenced by them. it is now influenced by every new modern thing that it happens to see. And the family being one of the most important parts of a society has also experienced changes. A lot has changed in Kosovo after war. there is still some respect left in some of the families. especially in the cases where man lives in urban areas. in his book “Characteristics of the Western European Family” describes how the North-West European countries. Northern France.

Characteristics of the Western European Family.Under Patriarchy and Peacekeeping: Women in Kosovo since the War.(4th of October 2007). 9th of November 2011. Acadia University.p.Helium. D.9th of November 2011. V. Tribuna Shqiptare Newspaper(11th of August 2011).ca/animus/2001vol6/provencal6.is/?page_id=873 2.retrieved from: http://www.8 5.Laslett.co. P.uk/v02/n20/peterlaslett/characteristics-of-the-western-european-family 4. retrieved from: http://www.(2011).hi.Provencal.mun. V.(7th of October 2003). Retrieved from: https://rikk.com/items/629105-family-values-the-importance-of-strong-familybonds 3.lrb.helium. Ingimundarson.retrieved from: http://www.Reference: 1.Kathy. London Review of Books.Family values: The importance of strong family bonds. 9th of November 2011. 9th of November.Papunësia shkakton dhunën në familje.The family in Aristotle.htm 5 . The Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies (RIKK).

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