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Pacific Southwest Research Station
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Research Station

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Research Topics

Recreation: Changing Research Patterns

Asian Americans and Outdoor Recreation

Research was recently published (see Winter, Jeong, Godbey listing on page 2) that focused on outdoor recreation among Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area. The work was based on Jeong's doctoral dissertation, for which he gathered data from four Asian groups (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Filipino). Demographic projections for the United States suggest that Asian Americans will increase proportionately nationwide, to the point that they will be the majority group of color. Understanding differences and similarities among Asian Americans furthers our understanding of how to best provide recreational opportunities to a diverse constituency.

We found significant differences among the groups concerning degree of linguistic acculturation (preferred language spoken at home, when watching television, when listening to the radio, and when reading newspapers and magazines). As a whole, the majority of respondents preferred their own ethnic language, or mostly their ethnic language and some English, when speaking at home. About one-third expressed a preference for their own ethnic language across the three types of media. These findings suggest that communications related to recreation and other natural resource management issues should appear in ethnic media, particularly in areas where concentrated populations of Asian Americans reside.

The importance of ethnic use patterns in preference for natural areas was examined. Use of natural areas by others from one's own ethnic group was most important among the Filipino and Chinese respondents. Constraints to visiting the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including such factors as perceived discrimination, and a lack of information were infrequently reported.

Overall the results suggest that Asian Americans should not be viewed as homogeneous. While sociodemographic variations were more influential in predicting some recreation-related issues we looked at, cultural identity was more important in others. Further research is needed to explore the differences and similarities among Asian American cultural groups, as well as to gain an understanding of the impact of these similarities and differences on recreation service delivery.

For more information about this study contact Patricia Winter.

Publications and Products related to this subject:

Winter, P.L.; Jeong, W.C.; Godbey, G.C. 2004. Outdoor recreation among Asian Americans: A case study of San Francisco Bay Area residents. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 22, 3, 114-136.

Research conducted by:
  • Patricia Winter
  • Last Modified: Aug 29, 2016 11:04:34 AM