“Furia Albanica” - The Last Myth for the Preservation of Albanian National Identity

Rrezearta Reka Thaçi

Abstract


Myths, although social constructs, are necessary means for constructing and preserving national identities. Sports and football in particular, have shown to be one of strongest myths of national identity, and thus, of a national unity. This is true for Albanians, and in particular for the Albanians living in Kosovo, due to the process of establishing a new state identity parallel to the existing national identity. The aim of the paper is to present the specific case of Kosovo, whereas a national football team upholds the main myth for a unified Albanian community, and the challenges brought about by Kosovo’s acceptance to the UEFA, in regard to the preservation of national identity. The theoretical review will reflect upon myths, its relation with sports and football in particular, and semantics behind the notion of nation and state, as used by the Albanian language. Through the comparative method, similar examples will be presented whereas the football myth has become the strongest national pride. Lastly, through the quantitative method, selected results of a survey conducted for the author’s main PhD thesis will be presented, in regard to affiliation with a national football team. The paper will reveal that a national team may and usually serves as the strongest imaginative community of what we call a nation. In cases such as Kosovo, it is actually the strongest myth, parallel to other symbols, such as the national flag, capable of mobilizing masses.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n4p533


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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