Survey discovers key element of “Armenianness”

MediaMax news agency in cooperation with IPSC – Institute for political and sociological consulting launches a new series of articles, which aim to present some interesting and sometimes even unexpected results of public opinion polls in Armenia.

Living in a monoethnic community after gaining independence, the population of Armenia formed a unique model of citizenship – all people living in Armenia are Armenian, and resident/citizen of Armenia in fact equals Armenian.

All you need to do to see the truth of this statement is to pay attention to how we address others in public speeches and calls – “Armenians”, “Armenian nation”, “compatriots”, “Armenian people”.

The list could go on, of course, but it would be more interesting to view what the statistics of “Armenianness” is or whom Armenian population considers to be Armenian.

“Quality of life” research conducted by IPSC included the “What are the most important things that make you Armenian?” question.

The public survey, which had 2003 participants (708 in Yerevan and 1295 in marzes), paints the following picture: self-identification as Armenian is the key element of “Armenianness”, and 21% of Armenian population believed this answer to be acceptable.

The next common answers were Armenian heritage of a parent or belonging to Armenian Apostolic Church. The surveyed attached the least importance (12% of the participants) to speaking Armenian in the matter of “Armenianness”.

It is interesting that there is no essential difference between answers of women and men.

Women considered self-identification as Armenian the most important, and men attached almost equal importance to that factor and to Armenian heritage of a person’s father.

Contrary to city residents, who believed self-identification as Armenian to be the key element, villagers thought the father’s national identity mattered the most. For Yerevan residents, father’s Armenian heritage and Armenian Apostolic Church membership were equivalent. Self-identification as Armenian was the most important factor for people with higher education (24%).

There are three methods of assigning ethnicity to someone:

  1. If you assign ethnicity by physical or genetic characteristics, you follow the biological method.
  2. If you view ethnos as a certain group with unified culture (language, religion, history (real or mythological), ideas, values, behavior models), you follow the sociological method.
  3. If you believe that self-identification as a certain ethnos is what matters the most in ethnicity, you follow the affective method.

What method do you follow? If you picked the third one, you agree with the majority of the population of Armenia.

Satenik Karapetyan, IPSC Statistics expert

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