Older Chinese women immigrants and their leisure experiences: before and after emigration to the United States
Jaclyn A. Card
General Technical Report (GTR)
Northern Research Station
Northeastern Research Station
In: Todd, Sharon, comp., ed. 2002. Proceedings of the 2001 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-289. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 291-297.
The concept of leisure has generally focused on men. This is especially true in Chinese society where women seldom have the right to speak about leisure or mention leisure activities. For many Chinese women, the integration of household and leisure has been necessary to find meaning in life. Based on this concept, we explored older Chinese women immigrants' leisure experiences before and after their emigration to the United States and barriers that they faced in the United States. The researchers used an in-depth interview approach to discover how 9 older Chinese women immigrants interpreted their leisure. Following the in-depth interviews six themes emerged: 1. women's leisure experiences (e.g., watching TV, walking, shopping, exercising, attending church and gardening) after emigration; 2. barriers (e.g., language, transportation and cultural differences) the women experienced in the United States; 3. traditional Chinese values and their effect on the women; 4. religious activities as an important social link; 5. free time or leisure not a problem, and 6. satisfaction with life and positive attitudes toward the future. The findings are useful because more and more Chinese people are emigrating to the United States, and the number of Chinese older immigrants is increasing. In addition, the results give insight into barriers Chinese women face. This information will allow recreation, tourism and resource managers and researchers to think about how they need to market and manage their resources for this ethnic group. As for the marketing aspect, managers and planners may create promotional pieces in Chinese and hold activities for the women in parks and other recreational areas. In terms of management, they should recognize the women's unique language and cultural barriers and recruit bilingual and bicultural professionals to understand the women's needs for adequate leisure activities or programs.
Ho, Ching-Hua; Card, Jaclyn A. 2002. Older Chinese women immigrants and their leisure experiences: before and after emigration to the United States. In: Todd, Sharon, comp., ed. 2002. Proceedings of the 2001 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-289. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 291-297.