The study of diasporas has become an urgent issue as the emergence and growth of ethnic communities continuously shape contemporary Europe. Due to their practical importance, scholars argue that ethic communities should be studied more carefully and not just be regarded as a “safe” analytical concept (Brubaker, 2005). The research reflects critically the current theoretical discussions within diaspora scholarship regarding the distinction between classical diaspora theories and more recent approaches. It explores to what extent the “classical diasporas” are persistent in contemporary European societies. The paperpresents a case study of the Armenian diasporic community in the Netherlands based on participant observations and interviews with key representatives of twelve Armenian organizations in the Netherlands. Migrant organizations are the main focus of the study giving they are the institutionalized reflection of the dynamics taking place in the community. There is a general consensus regarding the concept of “classical” diaspora, as numerous authors use the following definition: classical diaspora consists of individuals that were forcibly separated from their homeland and built a strong ethnic community with strong national sentiments, a high amount of political influence in the homeland as well as a strong sense of solidarity with co-ethnics across the world. In recent years however scholars argue that diaspora as a unified and static group should not be taken for granted. This “modern” approach conceptualizes diaspora as a project or a way of action. For a long time there was no necessity to go into this debate on definition in the case of Armenian diaspora which evolved after the Genocide in Ottoman Empire (1915). It was one of the transnational communities that practically fitted in “classical diaspora” definition. However, as with all ethnic communities, the Armenian diaspora model has evolved and transformed its main characteristics. The Dutch Armenian diasporic community is a heterogeneous group, since they migrated from different countries (Syria,Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Russia, and Armenia) between 1950-2000s. The study shows that Dutch Armenian diasporic “model” illustrates hybrid features of “classical” and “modern” concepts of diaspora. Migrants from the countries where there were already established Armenian communities (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria) have brought with them traditional transnational diaspora institutions. These organizations collaborate with wider diaspora network and link “classical” diaspora elements with local Dutch conditions. They reproduce the classical diasporic values, such as the vision of victim diaspora, the idea of common ancestors, history, language, religion and more. However, this “model” does not direct to the strong boundary maintenance between Armenian migrants and the host society and it does not encourage isolation from Dutch society. Moreover, the internal diversity within the community creates difficulties for organizations in finding common grounds for the group unification. The main uniting factor for mobilization of this heterogeneous group is the memory of the Armenian Genocide (1915) and the claim for the Genocide recognition. Using Brubaker’s (2004) concept of “groupism” the paper also analyses the methods employed by organizations to unify the Dutch Armenian community.
|Titolo:||Migrant organizations and reproductin of "classical" diaspora characteristics|
|Data di pubblicazione:||29-apr-2016|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale|
|Citazione:||Migrant organizations and reproductin of "classical" diaspora characteristics / N. Galstyan. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Ethnic Relations, Minorities and Belonging in Europe and China tenutosi a Leuven nel 2016.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|