Cultural Portfolio 3-5 - NATIONAL CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION...

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NATIONAL CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION 1. How do various political/social groups define themselves in the culture you selected? Who is included and excluded in each group’s definition of national identity? Why? (25 lines) In Armenia, most political groups are set up using Soviet structures. They are extremely hierarchical, and many political groups have admitted to “purging” members who have made mistakes or disgraced the political group in some way. Political groups split very easily because there is not much tolerance for internal debates in these groups. New groups and branches of the old groups are not uncommon. Although there have been hundreds of political groups since Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, only about a dozen have been successful enough to have had electoral success. Even though the Armenian government strongly desires to become like a Western democracy, the current political environment would not support a completely democratic political system. This is because there is a divide between political groups in Armenia. This divide is mainly between pro-government groups who are misusing their power to keep their members in power and anti-government groups who want to remove the elected president from power. This divide is created by corruption in the government, Armenia’s isolation because of disputes with its neighbors Azerbaijan and Turkey, and because of emigration. Most members of political groups are in their 40s and 50s and took part in the independence movement and simply want to protect Armenian interests above all else. Even though 97.7% of Armenia’s population is Armenian, most of the world’s Armenian population does not live within Armenian. Most minority groups are not represented as elected officials in Armenia, but an effort is being made for a 5% quota for women candidates on party lists (Nelson). 2. Name two historical circumstances in which the culture you are studying has been reconstructed, transformed and re-imagined by people who belong to this culture or identify themselves as such. Provide specific examples/illustrations. (15 lines) In the 4 th Century, Sassanid Persians were persistent in trying to convert the Armenian peoples to accept their Zoroastrian as the official religion of the empire. The Sassanid Persians did not tolerate religious freedoms. By this time, the Armenians had a strong enough identity to resist this attempt by the Sassanid Persians at assimilating the Armenians. King Tradt III (“the Great”) converted to Christianity, as did many other noble Armenian families. This began a fierce effort of proselytizing, which counted the Sassanid Persian attempt to influence the Armenian region. Christianity continues to be a strong element of the Armenian identity. The events that took place in 1915-1916 that the Armenians claim to be genocide are a major key in their national identity. After declaring that the killings Armenians done by the Ottoman Empire should be considered genocide, the
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Cultural Portfolio 3-5 - NATIONAL CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION...

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