The role of ethnic enclosure in leisure in the economic achievement of Korean immigrants

Monika Stodolska, Matthew Marcinkowski, Jouyeon Yi-Kook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to examine whether enclosure in leisure among Korean immigrants acted as a drawback to or a resource in their economic achievement in the United States. The theoretical framework for this study was provided by Wiley's (1967) ethnic mobility trap theory and by Portes' and Bach's (1985) and Wilson's and Portes' (1980) enclave economy hypothesis. In the fall of 2002 and spring of 2003, self-administered, anonymous questionnaires were mailed to 458 first generation Korean immigrants residing in the greater Chicago area. A total of 204 properly completed questionnaires were returned. Leisure enclosure was evaluated on the basis of four questions: language in which immigrants engaged in certain leisure pursuits, presence of non-Korean close friends, frequency of participation in leisure activities with people of non-Korean descent, and frequency of leisure interactions with non-Korean co-workers. Economic achievement was measured using the respondents' annual, personal, gross income. The results of multiple regression analysis provide a confirmation for Wiley's (1967) ethnic mobility trap theory. Korean immigrants' level of leisure interaction with mainstream friends and co-workers and the presence of non-Korean friends are positively associated with their economic achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Economic achievement
  • Ethnic enclosure
  • Immigrants
  • Korean
  • Leisure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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