Teaching Socio-Cultural Anthropology In Albania: Bringing Together Professional Training And Active Citizenship

  • Esmeralda Agolli University of Tirana


Anthropology in Albania has been addressed mainly during the last two decades or so. Previously, the most common research agendas focused on the explorations of folklore and ethnography and indeed the venue that carried out research was the Institute of Folk Culture. As a consequence, teaching has been narrowly treated through the perspective of the folkloric and ethnographic studies, mostly the exotic and narrative terms.  Currently, various tenets of anthropology are taught in the departments of Humanities and Social Sciences such as in History, Archaeology and Culture Heritage, and Sociology. In this paper, I discuss the benefits of anthropology as a core subject in the curricula of the Bachelor program of Archaeology and Culture Heritage. Three main aspects are considered: first, the extent to which social and cultural anthropology contributes to the understanding of the dynamics of human behaviour in a timeless perspective. Due to the state of preservation, and the nature of the archaeological data, scientific analysis and investigations are often extremely limited. The theoretical and methodological tenets, as well as particular case studies treated from cultural anthropology play an indispensable role in this endeavour. Second, I deal with the impact of social anthropology in the student background and how its concepts and methodological tools can contribute to a better understanding of a society in action and transition. To what extent can we employ anthropology to help understand and analyse how tradition and modernity combine? Third, by drawing a survey completed by a selected group of students, I discuss how studying anthropology facilitated the student involvement in the professional context as well as strengthened their critical thinking skills and fostered active citizenship

Developing Teaching: Reports and Reflections