Between Conflicting Systems: An Ordinary Tragedy in Now-Capitalist Albania – Anthropological Journal of European Cultures – article

Between Conflicting Systems: An Ordinary Tragedy in Now-Capitalist Albania

Matthew Rosen | Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

2019-11-19

‘Business as usual’ in contemporary Albania takes place between different and conflicting systems of meaning and value. Drawing from ethnographic material collected in Tirana, Albania, this article examines the complexities of social and economic life in a city where distinct moral economies routinely clash with the capitalist principle of profit. Starting from the ethnographic impulse to learn how two local booksellers made sense of the contradictory systems of meaning operating in their everyday lives, the analysis shows how a grinding of discordant value systems produced the more general paradox of an ‘ordinary tragedy’.
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