Year of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Richard Sattler

Commitee Members

Gregory Campbell, Kimber Haddix McKay, Sarah Halvorson, Lia Melikishvili


Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, intermarriage, Soviet Union, Georgia, ethnography


The University of Montana


This research represents the first attempt to explore Georgian-Armenian and Armenian-Azerbaijani mixed marriages in Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The purpose of this study is to examine personal experiences in mixed marriage, processes associated with ethnic and religious identity change and maintenance, and accommodation strategies used in light of the demise of the Soviet Union, ensuing nationalism, and GeorgiaÆs road to building an integrated society based on democratic and civic values. In particular, the study focuses on the following questions: (1) how do the research consultants perceive their relationships? (2) what are the experiences of these consultants in mixed marriage? (3) how do these men and women deal with their cultural differences? and (4) how do the consultants perceive their individual identities inside mixed marriages? Due to the nature of the topic of investigation, the research was conducted using in-depth semi-structured ethnographic interviews in order to provide systematic comparisons of the consultantsÆ experiences inside and across these intermarriage types. The research results show that the consultants were open to embracing the cultural practices of the households they joined through the metaphor of hat. At the same time, the majority of the cases reveal that the perceptions of individual ethnic identities of the consultants remained largely unchanged inside these ethnically and religiously mixed marriages.

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