Title

Occupational Disruption and Resumption: Leisure Experiences of 'Immigrant Women'

Presenter Information

Melinda Suto

Start Time

7-10-2006 1:00 PM

End Time

7-10-2006 2:40 PM

Abstract

Understanding leisure as an occupation requires as examination of leisure definitions, the various contexts and conditions that support or impede leisure, and meanings that arise from leisure participation. Social scientists who contribute to leisure studies conceptualize leisure as time, activity, context, and subjective experience and their research focuses on one or more of these features. The analytic lenses that scientists use to study leisure range from the personal and psychological to broader sociological perspectives that encompass cultural, economic and institutional phenomena and reveal the complexity of leisure. The conceptual and practical problems of leisure occupations are raised through the present research question: How does the process of resettlement in Canada influence the ways in which women understand and participate in leisure? Ethnographic, feminist and critical theory traditions formed the methodological underpinnings of this qualitative research, and guided analytic and ethical decisions. In-depth interviewing, conducted in English, was the main data collection method. Interview questions created a comprehensive picture of daily and weekly occupations. The recruitment of participants occurred primarily through community resettlement programs. The purposeful sample comprised 14 highly-educated women from nine countries who were married and had children living at home. Participants’ ages ranged from 31 – 56 years old and prior to immigration they had careers as teachers, engineers, psychologists, systems analysts, social workers, and designers. Thematic analysis revealed that social, material and temporal circumstances influenced disruptions to leisure and helped explain situations in which leisure occupations resumed. Diminished time and social support, career changes and gendered domestic activities all contributed to women’s understanding and participation in leisure. One theme, Orchestrating the Day, revealed how the process of resettlement changed the activities and time spent in mothering and homemaking roles, leaving fewer opportunities for leisure. Another theme, Socializing is the Key to Leisure, provided an explanation of participants’ resistance to disruption in their leisure occupations, and identified opportunities to resume or recreate new leisure occupations. These findings highlight the importance of studying not only the meaning that individuals attach to self-defined leisure but also how environmental influences shape participation in leisure occupations.

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Oct 7th, 1:00 PM Oct 7th, 2:40 PM

Occupational Disruption and Resumption: Leisure Experiences of 'Immigrant Women'

Understanding leisure as an occupation requires as examination of leisure definitions, the various contexts and conditions that support or impede leisure, and meanings that arise from leisure participation. Social scientists who contribute to leisure studies conceptualize leisure as time, activity, context, and subjective experience and their research focuses on one or more of these features. The analytic lenses that scientists use to study leisure range from the personal and psychological to broader sociological perspectives that encompass cultural, economic and institutional phenomena and reveal the complexity of leisure. The conceptual and practical problems of leisure occupations are raised through the present research question: How does the process of resettlement in Canada influence the ways in which women understand and participate in leisure? Ethnographic, feminist and critical theory traditions formed the methodological underpinnings of this qualitative research, and guided analytic and ethical decisions. In-depth interviewing, conducted in English, was the main data collection method. Interview questions created a comprehensive picture of daily and weekly occupations. The recruitment of participants occurred primarily through community resettlement programs. The purposeful sample comprised 14 highly-educated women from nine countries who were married and had children living at home. Participants’ ages ranged from 31 – 56 years old and prior to immigration they had careers as teachers, engineers, psychologists, systems analysts, social workers, and designers. Thematic analysis revealed that social, material and temporal circumstances influenced disruptions to leisure and helped explain situations in which leisure occupations resumed. Diminished time and social support, career changes and gendered domestic activities all contributed to women’s understanding and participation in leisure. One theme, Orchestrating the Day, revealed how the process of resettlement changed the activities and time spent in mothering and homemaking roles, leaving fewer opportunities for leisure. Another theme, Socializing is the Key to Leisure, provided an explanation of participants’ resistance to disruption in their leisure occupations, and identified opportunities to resume or recreate new leisure occupations. These findings highlight the importance of studying not only the meaning that individuals attach to self-defined leisure but also how environmental influences shape participation in leisure occupations.