Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Family and Community Studies

Committee Chair/Advisor

Mark Small

Committee Member

Susan Limber

Committee Member

Natallia Sianko

Committee Member

Migena Kapllanaj


Return migration is the movement of people from host countries to their country of origin after spending a period of time abroad. The aim of this doctoral research is two-folded: Firstly, it aims to explore migration and return migration experiences of Albanian women in order to understand the difficulties experienced during and after migration and how they handled obstacles. Secondly, it analyzes how women migrants perceive successful reintegration.

Drawing on qualitative in-depth interviews of 19 Albanian women who returned to the city of Shkodra, the research seeks to answer the following questions: (1) Upon return, what are the perceptions of women migrants' experiences before, during, and after migration? and (2) What are perceptions of how reintegration might be improved? The answers offer a comprehensive understanding of return migration and reintegration factors based on their lived experiences.

The outcomes in this qualitative study resulted from a constructivist grounded theoretical analysis. Sampling began as purposive and data analysis continued until saturation had been reached. Findings show that economic, social, and cultural difficulties in Albania and obscurity about the future influence reintegration. Implications for theoretical approaches to reintegration are offered. The research also evaluates the significant contributions return migrants make towards the future development of the city and concludes with recommendations for governmental and non-governmental structures to improve reintegration.



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