Perception of Leisure In Latino Women Immigrants

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Social class, class awareness, and cultural differences have been recognized as critical factors in the description of leisure behavior among different ethnic groups. Gender is also a significant variable affecting leisure behavior and plays an important role in individuals' experiences. The purpose of this study was to explore the leisure experiences of a group of Latin America women immigrants in the United States. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 10 Latino women immigrants. The results of the interviews suggest that in general, the informants have experienced variations in their leisure activities and recreation participation after moving to the United States. Some of the major themes included: (a) women spoke of their work and family as being central in their lives; the women expressed that most of their present recreation activities were family related and with friends of their own cultural background, (b) recreation was not a main component of their lives (c) lack of English skills shaped the individual's socialization patterns and recreation participation, (d) many changes due to different stages in the life cycle. Immigration resulted in positive and negative influences on their social life and on their recreation participation. Participation in recreational activities became more structured and segregated. These individuals indicated having less leisure time and being more concerned with survival and economic advancement. They gained a sense of responsibility, confidence, and freedom after moving to the United States. These women felt capable of doing things on their own, and taking control of their lives.



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