Toplumsal Cinsiyet Rolleri Üzerine Kurulmuş Kültürler Arası Evlilikler: Sırbistan’da Yaşayan Arnavut-Sırp Çiftlerin Evlilikleri Üzerine Bir Vak’a Çalışması
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This study is on the cases of intercultural marriages between Albanian women and Serbian men. These marriages first have started in the year 2006 and have been considered, especially by the Albanian society, as offending the nationalistic sentiments and a deviation from collective social and cultural norms. The study examines these marriages not as a case of social deviation but an extraordinary example of intercultural marriages in their social, cultural and historical- political context in connection with the collective mentality, values, rules and norms related to family, marriage, gender roles and in connection with the ideas, expectations and assessments of the marrying parties as well as of all other parties involved in their initiation and arrangement. The data for this study have been collected between September and November, 2017 by means of conducting in-depth interviews with 42 Albanian women and 31 Serbian men who have made an intercultural marriage and live in Sanjak (Sandžak) region of Serbia. An analysis of research data indicates that these women and men are not individuals who have been in conflict with the cultural values and social norms of their societies. Instead they have been marginalised in the marriage market by the post-socialist developments in their societies and have been forced to search for a partner or accept an offer of a marriage made by someone through the medium of an intermediator and who is living on the other side of the border. What the marrying parties have looked for is somebody who is prepared to play the traditional family and gender roles in a rural setting properly. However, these roles had to be performed without having any linguistics skills for communication and without having any idea about what these gender roles involved in their concrete forms. In retrospect, after living as a married couple for eight years, on average, the data indicate that, the Albanian-Serbian couples have shown an extraordinary effort and solidarity to overcome the difficulties involved in an intercultural marriage and managed to come to terms with what they have achieved. The story of their achievement is not that of a modern romance leading to an intercultural marriage but of a mutual understanding, compassion and solidarity against the stigma attached to their marriage and the depressing burden of culture shocks.