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Keywords:

  • Canada;
  • heterolocalism;
  • Pacific Northwest;
  • refugees;
  • transnationalism;
  • United States

ABSTRACT. Since the late 1990s Wilbur Zelinsky's theory of “heterolocalism’ has provided human geographers and other social scientists with a new approach to analyzing the spatial patterns and ethnic identities of recent immigrants in the United States. Zelinsky's heterolocal model suggests that, to a degree unknown in the past, new migrants in North American cities may choose to settle in widely dispersed places, rather than in more concentrated ethnic enclaves, while maintaining their ethnic identities. This article expands on and critiques prior work on heterolocalism in Oregon by examining the spatial patterns, ethnic and religious identities, and transnational relationships of two recent refugee groups in three urban areas in the Pacific Northwest. Using data from U.S. and Canadian census records, refugee resettlement agency files, survey questionnaires, structured and unstructured interviews, and participant observation with post-Soviet Russians and Ukrainians in the Vancouver, British Columbia, Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon metropolitan areas, I analyze the spatial patterns and related social networks that define the identities and residential and religious spaces of these groups to test the efficacy of relating heterolocalism and transnationalism across an international boundary.