09 September 2006

995) Institutions In Diaspora: Case Of Armenian Community In Russia, Marina Oussatcheva

Institute of Social & Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford

Introduction

The disintegration of the Soviet Union made visible the problems of diasporas, which were not on the agenda of the social sciences during Soviet times. The policy of the state was characterized by the guiding principle of erasing any national differences. People were united by the institution of Soviet citizenship - the characteristic universal for peoples of all nationalities within USSR. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many representatives of different ethnic groups found themselves facing a formerly unknown problem - that of national self-identification.

They had to find their own niche in the socio-cultural environment of their host-states,. to become conscious of their minority status, compared with titular nations, to pass through the difficult stages of social adaptation in order to find themselves in the new socio-economic and political situation while trying at the same time to maintain connections with their historic homeland and preserve their national uniqueness. . .

Social sciences in Russia are unfortunately not yet able to offer any serious research in this field. Meanwhile, the significance of the problem is growing, as influence of diasporas on the host states is increasing and some diasporas are becoming influential in solving not only socio-cultural, but also economic and political, problems. This paper focuses on the analysis of institutions and agents in a diaspora community. It aims to analyse the social formations that developed within the Armenian community throughout its history in Russia. The history and the development of Armenian Diaspora institutions in Russia will be examined, as will the picture of . . .



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