The Impact of Immigration Leisure Experience In the Lives of South American Immigrants

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Though leisure researchers have, in recent years, show a growing interest in the Hispanic 1 community, most of the research conducted has focused almost exclusively on the leisure experiences among Mexican Americans or Hispanics from Central America. The purpose of the investigation was to explore the impact of immigration on the leisure experiences of a selected group of South American immigrants living in the United States. This investigation was based on a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews of 9 females and 8 males. Analysis of the interview data revealed changes in the immigrants' lifestyles after migrating to the United States. Some of these behavioral changes were observed in the participants' socialization patterns, in their views about work, and in their perception of time. These changes had an impact on the individuals' leisure experiences, and recreation participation. The findings strongly suggest that during the informants' adjustment process, social class was a more important indicator for behavioral changes than ethnicity. These results reinforce past findings in that social class plays an important role in individuals leisure behavior (Floyd & Gramman, 1993; Floyd, McGuire, Noe, & Shinew, 1994).

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