Encountering the Armenian community: experiences of Armenian domestic workers in İstanbul

Paksoy, Monika
This thesis presents the perceptions and dynamics of ethnic, national and religious identity of Armenian immigrant domestic workers in Istanbul by analyzing their narratives about their journey to Turkey, experiences in Istanbul and employer-employee relationships with their Armenian and non-Armenian employers. The qualitative method of social research has been applied in this study by means of utilizing participant observation, focus group discussions, semi-structured and informal interviews with Armenian immigrants. The primordial, ethno-symbolic and constructed aspects of identity has been addressed to understand the role of myths, symbols, ethnic election and common ancestry in the definition of “Armenian identity”. Findings show that a reformulation of identity has taken place on immigrants’ part with the influence of an active Armenian community life in Istanbul. Therefore, the existence of an Armenian community in Istanbul, the role of Armenian language, engagement in the Armenian Apostolic church and sense of kinship based on ethnic ties greatly contribute to the experiences of Armenian immigrant domestic workers in Istanbul despite the differences in socio-cultural background of the two groups


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This study presents the process of identity reformulation of Armenian community in Turkey through analyzing the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos between February 1996 and May 2014. This study explores Armenian identity in social constructivist terms treating Agos as a political text. In this inquiry, first, analytical elements of Armenian identity in Turkey are determined as civic life and political representation, 1915 narratives and collective memory, and religion. Secondly, Agos’s reflection of Armenian i...
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Citation Formats
M. Paksoy, “Encountering the Armenian community: experiences of Armenian domestic workers in İstanbul,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.