Culture and Post-Soviet Transitions: A Pilot Study in the Republic of Armenian
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia declared its independence and thus began her abrupt journey back to democracy and a free-market economy. Using semistructured interviews, this study examined the differences in values, beliefs, and attitudes among three differnet age groups of Armenians about the post-transition world. The groups were Generation1 (those who lived under the Soviet system), Generation 2 (those who grew up under the Soviet system and have lived in the post-Soviet Armenia), and Generation 3 (those who were either still children during the Soviet Union or were born after its demise). The study found one major theme for each cohort: nostalgia, ambivalence–nostalgia, and euphoria–nostalgia, respectively. Nationalism was common to all groups, though not as prevalent as nostalgia. The study can help expand understanding of the link between micro issues (e.g., values, beliefs, and attitudes) and macro issues (e.g., history, economic systems, post-Soviet transition, and globazliation), as well as provide insight into the policy implications of micro issues.
KeywordsArmenia Culture Economic systems Nostalgia Post-Soviet transition Soviet Union
I am indebted to the Fulbright Scholar Program, Council for International Exchange of Scholars, for granting me the opportunity to conduct research in Armenia through a Follow-on Grant in 2010; to Rima Pritchard for her invaluable comments on the final draft of the manuscript; to Vahram Mirakyan for teaching me about some of the nuances of the Armenian way of life; to my colleagues, Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, Rebecca Wiseheart, Clover Hall, Mauricio Borrero, and Barry Brenton for their contributions; and to each and every one of the respondents for their willingness to participate in the study.
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