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Author Dong, Erwei
Title Leisure lifestyles in urban China: A case study in Hangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, and Shenzhen
Descript 212 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-01, Section: A, page: 0345
Adviser: Garry Chick
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Pennsylvania State University, 2006
Chinese leisure has received little attention from either Chinese or international scholars. Because of the long history of Chinese leisure, and because China has the largest population in the world, understanding Chinese leisure may greatly assist us in understanding the evolution of leisure in general and in predicting its future
In this study, I use a secondary dataset to identify and compare leisure lifestyles, types of Chinese leisure, and leisure constraints in a variety of contexts across six Chinese cities: Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Chengdu, and Shenzhen. The data were collected by the Asia Pacific Center for the Study of Leisure (APCL), located in Hangzhou, China, from March to November, 2005
The data collection was accomplished in two steps in the six Chinese cities. In the first step, because there is relatively little research on urban Chinese leisure lifestyles, the APCL used a face-to-face free-listing technique for the initial data collection. Because previous research has not reported how leisure activities are spent or how leisure constraints are perceived by Chinese urban people in the six cities, the free-listing technique can be viewed as the best way to explore how urban people pursue their leisure and identify their leisure constraints. In this study, the free-listing technique particularly helps researchers to use appropriate domains (leisure activities and constraints) because it ensures that the domains are culturally related (Weller & Romney, 1988). Moreover, the advantage of free listing is that leisure activities and constraints listed by the technique can be used in developing a larger survey
In the second step, a questionnaire was created on the basis of the results of the free listing by the APCL. The survey consisted of two sections. The first section comprised leisure activity, leisure constraints, leisure satisfaction, and health items. The second section elicited socio-demographic information including location of residence, gender, income, educational level, family members, marital status, and sources of leisure information. Both the free-listing and the survey data were used for this study
The findings of this study are similar to the results of previous leisure-activity studies of the U.S. population that found that media habits or mass media were major leisure activities pursued in the United States. Similarly, media habits (e.g., movies, reading, etc.) are considered the most important activities in terms of frequency of participation and importance of activities by urban Chinese. This study also found that social activities (visiting friends and relatives, dating, chatting, attending family gatherings) play important roles in Chinese urban daily life. Furthermore, the activities that were reported by the informants are more frequently and more importantly associated with passive leisure activities, which are identified by previous research. Passive leisure, as a form of leisure, continues to play a dominant role in the leisure activities of the Chinese urban population. Among the passive leisure activities pursued by the Chinese urban population, meditation is not only one form of leisure activity, it is also an alternative medicine that may contribute to enhance the Chinese urban population's health. Furthermore, Chinese traditional culture may still influence urban people's leisure preferences; modern urban Chinese people continue to seek mountains and water places for their leisure. At the same time, the findings of this study offer evidence that there are high consensuses on leisure activities by using an informants-by-informants matrix within the cities. Although all cities face very similar constraints on leisure, there is no consensus on constraints within cities
The findings of the study indicate that for participation rates in primary leisure activities, the perceived importance of primary leisure activities is the same for some pairs of cities in subgroups. Urban Chinese in most pairs of cities face similar leisure constraints. The degrees of leisure satisfaction are the same between all pairs of cities in female, older, and younger groups
In sum, this preliminary study, based on an analysis of existing data, is the first to apply the new systematic ethnographic approach to understanding intra-city and intercity variances on leisure activities and leisure constraints in a cross-cultural urban setting. This study also provides new insights that cognitive anthropology can make significant contributions to the comparative study in terms of inter-cultures and intra-culture for leisure research dominated by social psychology. Further findings will be discussed
School code: 0176
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 68-01A
Subject Recreation
Alt Author The Pennsylvania State University
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