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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Subethnicity: Armenians in Los Angeles


Diversity is one of the major current themes in the field of immigrant and ethnic studies. Scholars are increasingly attentive to national-origin diversity among groups such as Hispanics in the United States (Portes and Truelove 1987;Nelson and Tienda 1985). They argue that differences in group characteristics, migration histories, and reception contexts affect the adaptation of immigrant groups. In some cases, however, ethnic diversity does not stop at the nationality level,and may take different forms. For instance, Iranians consist of ethno-religious subgroups (Armenians, Bahais, Jews, and Muslims), whereas Vietnamese include ethnic Chinese from Vietnam (Bozorgmehr 1990; Desbarats 1986; Sabagh et al. 1989). Armenians have co-ethnic counterparts of different national origins such as Iran, Lebanon, or the Soviet Union. The aim of this paper is document internal diversity among Armenians and thus demonstrate the need for taking into account subethnicity among Armenians.

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