Impacts of immigration on ethnic identity and leisure behavior of adolescent immigrants from Korea, Mexico and Poland

Monika Stodolska, Jouyeon Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research project focuses on the impact of immigration on the emergence of ethnic identity as well as on post-immigration changes in leisure behavior among adolescent immigrants from Korea, Mexico and Poland. The study is based on 16 in-depth, semi structured interviews with teenagers and young adults residing in the metro Chicago and Champaign-Urbana areas. Findings of the study indicate that ethnic identity of immigrant adolescents is shaped by three distinct processes. (1) First, it is a result of self-discovery of their cultural differences vis-à-vis mainstream Americans and other minorities. (2) Second, young immigrants establish their ethnic identity through comparisons with other members of their own ethnic in-group. (3) Third, outside labeling is crucial in developing ethnic consciousness among immigrant adolescents. In terms of changes in their leisure behavior we established that leisure of Mexican and Polish teenagers became more commodified following their settlement in the United States. Immigrant adolescents began to display work patterns uncommon among young people residing in their home countries. Moreover, teenage newcomers from all three ethnic groups adopted new leisure time patterns and new ways of organizing their leisure activities, and began to reevaluate their family relations following immigration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-79
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Adolescents
  • Ethnic identity
  • Immigration
  • Leisure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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