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Title: The impact of residential location on language practices among Lebanese Armenian adolescents : an investigation into the Western Armenian language in Lebanon
Author: Filian, Chaghic
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 9243
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This study looks into the impact of residential location on the language practices (LPs) of Lebanese Armenian adolescents (LAAs). It explores to what extent residential concentration within the established Armenian quarter of Bourj Hammoud (BH) has contributed to the vitality of the Western Armenian language (WAL) in Lebanon. The study also looks into how the recent geographical dispersal of Lebanese Armenians (LAs) into different areas of Lebanon, which traditionally have had less Armenian presence (non-Armenian Areas, NAAs), might lead to modifications in the perceived use and formal properties of the WAL. The study explores how residential location can shape the identification and self-perceptions of LAAs from BH and NAAs. It also looks into the influence this can have on social interactions, cultural practices, ideologies, attendance and involvement in Armenian schools and institutions and attitudes towards the WAL and other more widely spoken languages in Lebanon and explores how these elements may shape LPs and thus influence the status of Western Armenian (WA) in the country. Data were collected both quantitatively and qualitatively between summer 2014 and summer 2015 through ten individual interviews, two focus group interviews, two nonparticipant observations and one hundred survey questionnaires distributed to fifty LAAs from BH and fifty LAAs from NAAs. Findings in this study reveal changes in the demographic situation of the Armenian community in Lebanon, both in BH and NAAs, with increasing openness to integration into Lebanese society. Data also suggest that the changes attaining the fabric of the Armenian community in Lebanon and its geographical dispersal have a significant influence on the attitudes of LAAs towards Armenian education and schools, leading to increased unfavourable attitudes towards them. This study also reveals the complex and multidimensional nature of the identity of LAAs who whether from BH or NAAs display different perceptions of their identity and sense of self. The complex nature of ideologies and cultural practices of LAAs is also discussed in this study. While many continue to be actively involved in Armenian community life, take part in major Armenian cultural practices, join Armenian community institutions such as sports clubs and youth associations and have the intention of bringing up an Armenian family in the future, others reveal signs of detachment from the Armenian community and its cultural practices. The attitudes of LAAs towards the WAL continue to be mainly favourable, as the majority believe in the importance of maintaining it as a way to maintain Armenian identity. The LPs of LAAs vary as the spoken form of WA continues to be the main language of communication in most domains. However, geographical dispersal mainly influences WA language literacy as a large number of adolescents from NAAs attend non-Armenian schools and report that they cannot read and write WA.
Supervisor: Dewey, Martin ; Coffey, Simon Joseph Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available