Leisure Recreation and the Arts

Upper- and middle-class first-generation immigrant women are involved in more leisure time activities than men, which results in a voluntary gender segregation of recreational organizations. This is not simply a function of differences between homemakers and professionals, since many homemakers do not take up any recreational activities until their children enter high school. In addition, Taiwanese American women in the work force also have higher rates of participation than their male colleagues. Rather, it is a difference in interests. Most women benefit from the fact that they have fewer obligations to care for elderly relatives and assist neighbors compared with life in Taiwan. They welcome the opportunities to engage in self-improvement activities, such as taking singing, dancing, and painting lessons.

On the other hand, some Taiwanese American men consider the type and number of opportunities to engage in leisure time activities in the United States lacking in comparison with those available in Taiwan, especially if they live far away from any Chinatown. Although they join golf and tennis clubs in the United States, they miss more numerous occasions for after-work male bonding in bars and restaurants (Avenarius, 2003).

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