Identity, adjustment, and transnational activity patterns of fourth-wave Ukrainian diaspora in the United States

Svitlana Iarmolenko, Deborah Kerstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Traditional models of acculturation have been challenged by emergence of transnational diasporas: immigrant groups maintaining simultaneous connections to home and host nations. Because the nature of transnational activity is highly idiosyncratic, a careful look at each group is needed. In this study the authors posit that "What this country needs is more Ukrainians" through the investigation of diasporic identity, adjustment issues, and propensity for transnational travel of the fourth-wave Ukrainian immigrants in the US-an important but overlooked group. Interviews with individuals in this group uncover an incredibly challenging context of adaptation marked not only by social demotion but also rejection by earlier waves; a conflicting nature of postmigration identity encompassing both a desire to stay "Ukrainian" and a perceived need to assimilate for the sake of economic success, and a problematic relationship with the modern homeland that affects the transnational activity, especially travel, within this group. In conclusion, the unique background and context of migration for this diaspora produces identities and transnational relations uncharacteristic for earlier waves or other ethnic groups, and thus their diaspora tourism patterns are heavily dependent on the situation (familial, economic, political) in the country of origin. This study contributes to developing our understanding of the relationships between contexts of migration, acculturation, identity, and travel behavior of diasporas, especially for recent waves within groups that have not received much academic attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalTourism, Culture and Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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