The Role of Linguistic Resources in the Institutional Organisation of the Armenian Diaspora in Finland

  • Sonya SahradyanEmail author
  • Maria Elo
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


This chapter presents a linguistic ethnographic case study exploring the role of linguistic resources in the institutional organisation of the Armenian diaspora within the Finnish context. Even though the Armenian diasporas across the globe have been extensively studied in various countries, relatively little research has been conducted on linguistic resources employed in the institutional organisation of the Armenian diasporas. In addition, to our knowledge, no single research has focused on the Armenian diaspora residing in Finland or organisational work done at the institutional level within the Finnish context. The study reported here attempts to address these gaps by drawing upon multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork, more precisely, participant observations and informal interviews conducted with Armenian volunteers of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) promoting the organisation of the Armenian diaspora at the institutional level in Finland. To do so, we examine the landscape of the Armenian diaspora, which is shaped on the basis of different generations of historical and contemporary Armenian diasporas, who have increasingly diversified backgrounds regarding their migration grounds and legal statuses in addition to their linguistic and socio-economic characteristics. Some activities, events and festivities arranged by the NGO are then described to illustrate organisational work done by the volunteers with the cooperation of individuals, institutions, associations and schools, apart from with the support of the Armenian diaspora based in Finland. Finally, we discuss linguistic resources that are used by the volunteers in organisational work carried out through internal and external communication within the offline and online contexts. Overall, the study findings indicate that the volunteers of the NGO make use of different linguistic repertoires in organisational work as not all the Armenian diaspora members master Armenian, which is the shared main language for the majority of them. The study, thus, confirms that linguistic, especially multilingual, resources promote the institutional organisation of the Armenian diaspora since linguistic diversity is commonplace among the diaspora members. This chapter contributes to understanding of how the diaspora can be organised at the institutional level through multiple linguistic resources that provides new insights into diaspora communities with little or no common language.


Linguistic resources Institutional organisation Superdiversity Armenian diaspora Non-governmental organisation 



The chapter draws on the empirical data collected and translated by the first author, Sonya Sahradyan, who would like to thank the Armenian Diaspora in Finland, the Finland-Armenia Association and the Centre for Applied Language Studies, University of Jyväskylä, for assisting this research and making this publication possible. The second author, Maria Elo, would like to thank the Foundation for Economic Education, Finland (Grant no. 1-222-28) and the George Washington University, USA, for the support in writing this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Applied Language StudiesUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.School of Economics, Belt & Road Institute of International Business, Shanghai UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Turku School of Economics, University of TurkuTurkuFinland
  4. 4.Migration Institute of FinlandTurkuFinland

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