Social formation and reproduction among Armenians in Germany

Transnational migrant ties: Social formation and reproduction among Armenians in Germany

Astghik Chaloyan

As a social phenomenon, transnationalism has led to reformulation of the concept of society. The lives of increasing number of individuals can no longer be understood by looking only at what goes on within national boundaries. On the other hand, some migrants and their descendants remain strongly influenced by their continuing ties to their home country or by social networks that stretch across national borders, becoming a part of so called “transnational social fields”. It’s opening the floor for researchers to study transnational ties migrants maintain both with home and host countries and the reasons why some keep on living transnationally and the others don’t. 

Armenian migration has an old and rich history, and migration flows from Armenia have had different reasons and aims in each historical period. As a result there is a huge Armenian Diaspora widespread through all over the world. Moreover different categories of Armenian migrants have different types of transnationalism: they are differently transnationally active and differently relate themselves to homeland. The project aims to map types of Armenian transnationalism, as well as to study social formation and reproduction of transnational ties among Armenian migrants. Therefore the research is directed to studying which kind of ties pass/transfer from one generation to another and what is happening to self-identification or sense of belonging of generations. The key question is whether transnational ties are regenerating from generation to generation or they do fade away and if they do, which kind of activities and engagements oriented towards the host society they are replaced by.

Core issues to be addressed during the research are the following:

  • Transnational ties and activities among first and second generation
  • Types and intensity of transnational ties and ways of their maintenance
  • Reproduction of transnationalism/transnational ties from one generation to another
  • Migrants’ self-identification and belonging issues