In “Gender and Leisure” by Susan Shaw and “Ethnicity, Race, and Leisure” by James H. Gramann and Maria T. Allison, the authors describe the main ways in which race, ethnicity and gender influence access and participation in recreation and leisure. .
While gender distinctions are quite clear when examining differences between men and women, despite the emergence of a transgender community, a key difficulty in assessing the impact of race and ethnicity is how they are defined. That’s due to a growing multicultural society in the US, Europe, the UK, and Canada, which are blurring traditional and ethnic distinctions. But, leaving aside those difficulties, this article analyzes the influence of gender first and then of race and ethnicity.
As Shaw points out, there are three main ways in which gender has influenced leisure: in terms of participation in activity, the gendered nature of leisure limitations, and through gender outcomes of leisure. The activity approach has shown that a number of activities are stereotyped according to gender and that there have been differences in “opportunities, experiences and a time for leisure”. For example, as anyone attending a sporting event or visiting museums, art galleries, and public lectures can easily observe, as research confirms, there is greater participation by men in “sports and physical activities” and by women. in “artistic and cultural activities”. Then, too, there is a gendered nature to passive leisure, affecting the books, magazines, and movies that men and women read and watch, as well as the hobbies and crafts they engage in. While Shaw points out that little research has examined these differences, these gender-based distinctions can easily be seen in the way marketers approach certain types of books, such as self-help and relationships with women, and sports and business for men. . Similarly, movies that deal with romance and relationships are aimed at women, and movies that feature adventure and action for men.
Also, confirming what has been obvious to the general public, in modern industrialized societies, men have generally had more time to participate in leisure activities, due to what the sociologist Arlie Hochschild, with whom I studied at UC Berkeley, called the “second shift”. “This is because working and married women have generally taken over most of the household chores and childcare at home, so not only have they participated in the paid workforce, but when they return home, they go back to work.Meanwhile, since they have been less engaged than women at home, men enjoy additional leisure time, thanks to their female partners.
However, these studies cited by Shaw on women with less free time were conducted in the 1980s and 1990s. In recent years, this distinction between leisure time for men and women seems to be changing, according to popular media, in the sense that men are increasingly involved in the division of housework and raising children. This change is reflected even in popular media, where men end up with children and learn to enjoy being dads, like Once Fallen. At the same time, successful female workers are hiring babysitters to do household chores and care for their children and even hire surrogates to give birth.
As for limitations, these affect differently the leisure opportunities that men and women have. For example, research from the 1980s and 1990s cited has shown that women are more restricted than men because of home obligations and family commitments, and because they feel a social obligation because of the “ethics of care,” according to which women may feel an obligation to care for. for others, so they feel less free to enjoy leisure on their own. So, too, women may feel limited from participating in certain types of activities, due to their fear of violence (as in boxing and wrestling) or their concern for their body image (as in swimming), while Men may resist participating in activities that appear too feminine and threaten their masculinity (such as ballet).
When it comes to race and ethnicity, it is more difficult to measure participation or limitations, due to problems in classifying people by race or ethnicity. These classification problems have occurred due to ethnic and racial diversity and multiculturalism, so the old census racial classifications are crumbling, as noted by Gramann and Allison. But putting those complications aside, much of the research has focused on the different ways that different ethnic and racial groups participate in outdoor recreation, and the results have indicated that whites tend to be more involved in these activities. than members of minority groups. While one reason many minority group members do not participate is due to their marginal position in society, whereby they have lower incomes and cannot afford to participate, have poor transportation, or fear discrimination, another factor may be cultural differences. Certainly, marginalization could be a factor for those with limited incomes, when they have to pay substantial amounts to participate in leisure activities in which mostly whites participate, such as going to dinners in expensive restaurants or paying tickets for theater and other cultural activities. . events.
But another key factor, aside from income and social class, is that members of racial and ethnic groups may have their own “culture-based system of values, norms, and leisure socialization patterns,” thus who have different interests. An example of this can be seen in areas of ethnic concentration, such as Oakland, where there is a Chinatown in the center of the city, African-American areas in the west and east of Oakland, and Latin American areas in the Fruitvale district. In each area, there are different types of activities that attract ethnic groups in the area, such as the dragon boat races of the Chinese, the Kwanza celebration of the African Americans, and the Day of the Dead celebration of the Mexicans. -American people. In addition, members of different groups may like to read books and magazines, as well as watch movies that feature their own racial or cultural group, while whites are less likely to be interested in these types of based entertainment. in culture. As Gramann and Allison point out, such leisure choices based on race and ethnicity may occur because they are “expressions of culture” or they may be an indication of “selective acculturation.” Additionally, these culture-based forms of entertainment could be examples of “ethnic boundary maintenance,” whereby people choose to participate in certain activities to highlight their ethnic differences, such as when Native Americans have pow-wows all over the world. country to celebrate their tribes. identities.