The role of recreational sport in the adaptation of first generation immigrants in the United States

Monika Stodolska, Konstantinos Alexandris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to analyze immigration-related changes in recreational sport participation of Korean and Polish immigrants and to established the role of recreational sport in their adaptation to the new life in United States. Thirty semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with first and one and a half generation immigrants from Korea and Poland residing in metro Chicago and Urbana-Champaign areas. The findings of this study show that the majority of interviewed immigrants experienced low levels of recreational sport participation during the first post-settlement period. The social class and ethnic background of immigrants, however, heavily influenced subsequent changes in their sport participation. The study also determined that the interviewed immigrants followed three distinct paths in the adaptation process. They either (1) acculturated to the culture of the White American mainstream; (2) assimilated to the sub-culture of their own ethnic community; (3) preserved their ethnic values and promoted their ethnic group solidarity. The adaptation path chosen was dependant on immigrants' ethnic group, and their socio-economic status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-413
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Ethnicity
  • Immigration
  • Segmented assimilation
  • Sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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