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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Armenian Diaspora: Migration and its Influence on Identity and Politics


The diasporan occupies a liminal space as a person that comes from one place, yet lives in another. This split identity can often pose challenges for diaspora communities, not only in questions of assimilation but also in coming to an understanding of what “identity” means at all. Understanding the diasporan’s lack of belonging and its influence on the way in which different diaspora communities function in their host nations is crucial in the present day, at a time in which identities are more fluid than ever. In this study, I explore the concept of diaspora through the particular lens of Armenian diaspora communities in the United States. This article will not only focus on the causes and effects of Armenian migration historically, but will also explore the characteristics and goals of the Armenian diaspora in the United States today – particularly in terms of its current understanding of identity, its uniting factors, and political influence. In studying the Armenian diaspora, I hope to emphasize the powerful impact of mobilizing diaspora communities through their uniting causes and characteristics, in not only creating a diasporan sense of identity but also in better understanding how diasporas influence globalization

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