LONDON — More than 1,000 Armenians in four cities in the Diaspora took part in a first-ever survey led by a team of academics, researchers and experts. This pilot phase of an ongoing larger project aims to provide a snapshot of the contemporary diaspora.
The Armenian Diaspora Survey (ADS) is a new initiative launched and funded by the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and carried out under the auspices of the Armenian Institute in London.
“We have initiated this study to fill a critical gap in our knowledge of the Diaspora, to have evidence-based understanding of the multilayered and diverse aspects of diasporic life in our times,” said Dr. Razmik Panossian, director of the Gulbenkian Foundation’s Armenian Communities Department.
In May and June 2018 four teams conducted the survey and interviews in Boston, Cairo, Marseille and Pasadena. These cities were chosen to provide variety for the initial phase, as well as for their community history and characteristics. A set of other cities are in the process of selection for survey this year.
“We asked people about their thoughts on identity and related issues of belonging as Armenians and as citizens of different states,” explained Dr. Susan Pattie, who led the pilot project. An international advisory committee, a dedicated team and 12 field work researchers were involved in the project, which took about 18 months to develop the methodology, research tools, fieldwork preparations, survey administration and data processing.
For institutional and community leaders in the Diaspora, as well as policy-makers in Armenia, ADS provides valuable research-based information as to what the issues and thinking in the Armenian communities are today and how to serve their needs.