Peculiarities of the ethnocultural identification of the ukrainians in the USA

  • O. A. Rovenchak Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
  • V. V. Volodko Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Keywords: Ukrainian migrants in the USA, ethnic identity, cultural identity, identification practices, «new» wave, «old» wave


The article is devoted to the issues of theoretical and empirical study of Ukrainian migration to the USA in its sociocultural dimension. It is aimed to the investigation of such ideas as migrants’ identities and corresponding practices. Namely, ethnic and cultural identities of the Ukrainians in the USA have been studied in the work. The authors’ theoretical concept is a basis for empirical survey on Ukrainian migration to the USA. The survey was conducted in 2015. 40 semi-structured interviews with Ukrainians who had experienced living in USA were collected during the research. The survey was aimed at the analysis of ethnic identities and practices, studying the cultural self-determination of the Ukrainians in the USA; detection of differences in ethnocultural identities and practices of «old» and «new» Ukrainian immigration waves. The benefits of this study are the separation of ethnic and cultural identities and practices as well as their isolation from national ones. Moreover, main points of the article have been described both in the context of «old» (postwar) and «new» (independence period) Ukrainian immigration.The main outcomes of the research are as follows. Respondents’ Ukrainian ethnic identity has superficial form (own naming) and is implemented in corresponding practices and common activities. This means that ethnic identities of the Ukrainians in the USA also have a deep form. Ethnic practices are fulfilled through maintainance of the ethnic traditions and ethnic infrastructure development. Ukrainian organizations are one of the most important types of the ethnic infrastructure objects. Though the respondents of «old» wave prefer the membership in traditional official organizations, the respondents of «new» wave prefer new, network-structured informal organization/communities. These types of Ukrainian organizations are differently significant in ethnic and socially-political dimensions. The difference in shaping of cultural identity and practices of «old» and «new» immigrants from Ukraine has also been shown in the study. Ukrainian component of «old» immigrants’ cultural identity and corresponding practices is based mainly on the Ukrainian feeling of the ethnonational belonging. At the same time, Ukrainian component of «new» immigrants’ cultural identity and corresponding practices are influenced by the Ukrainian ethnicity, soviet period of Ukrainian history and some outlandish cultural practices widespread in independent Ukraine. Summarising, the survey has shown that the ethnic identity and practices of «old» wave of Ukrainian immigrants in the USA is similar to the ones of «new» wave immigrants, and the Ukrainian conponent of cultural identities differs greatly in the studied waves of Ukrainian immigrants in the USA.


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How to Cite
Rovenchak, O. A., & Volodko, V. V. (2017). Peculiarities of the ethnocultural identification of the ukrainians in the USA. Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 20(1), 12-20.