Bazaar-Related Migrant Residential Concentration Areas in Post-Socialist Russian Cities

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Varshaver, E., Rocheva, A., Ivanova, N. (2023). Bazaar-Related Migrant Residential Concentration Areas in Post-Socialist Russian Cities. International Migration Review, OnlineFirst.


There are various migrant residential concentration areas (MRCAs) internationally, but two models are most frequently used to describe them: inner-city ethnic neighborhood and ethnoburb, both created in the context of North American cities. The scattered evidence of MRCAs arising adjacent to large bazaars, i.e., marketplaces that emerged in the 1990s in the former Soviet bloc countries demonstrates these areas’ considerable differences from both inner-city ethnic neighborhood and ethnoburb. Therefore, a distinct model is required to understand them. Based on a study of the main bazaars and adjacent residential areas in Russia's 15 largest cities, we propose a model of bazaar-related MRCAs. This model includes a description of the key features of bazaar-related MRCAs, along with a set of factors and mechanisms that contribute to the emergence of MRCAs. The paper highlights the distinctions from and similarities of the proposed model with other MRCA models and demonstrates how the interplay between the post-socialist cities’ context and migrants’ characteristics shapes the character and emergence of bazaar-related MRCAs in Russia. By shedding light on this understudied context, the article expands our understanding of the migrant residential concentration in the urban contexts worldwide.