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The world is crosscut with political boundaries and cultural divides. These occasionally coincide but, more often, they do not. In most nations, especially large ones like the United States, many cultural groups coexist. While cultural differences are sometimes celebrated, at other times they evoke unease and, all too often, conflict. Understanding cultural differences can be important in increasing appreciation of cultural diversity while reducing conflicts that result from it. A simple definition of culture is that it consists of knowledge, beliefs, and values that are learned, shared, and socially transmitted. As such, culture provides both prescriptive and proscriptive rules and guidelines for behavior. Because cultures differ both within and across political boundaries, leisure, as a part of culture, can be expected to differ, as well. Unfortunately, neither influences of culture on leisure nor cross-cultural and international aspects of leisure are well researched. Our goal is to examine how culture and cultural differences influence leisure intra-culturally, cross-culturally, and internationally as well as how leisure influences cultural differences and cultural assimilation and acculturation.

Sample Research Projects - In Progress or Planned

  • Cultural Audit for Turtle Island, Nacula Tikina, Fiji (Kerstetter)
  • Cross-cultural Examination of Leisure-related Variables Among Youth (Caldwell)
  • Health Consequences of the Cultural and Behavioral Consonance of Leisure Lifestyles (Chick)
  • Leisure Lifestyles and Constraints in Urban Chinese Settings: Current Status, Trends and Projections (Chick)
  • HealthWise South Africa: Preventing Risky Behavior and Promoting Positive Youth Development through Leisure (Caldwell)

Contributing Faculty

Linda Caldwell
Garry Chick
John Dattilo
Deborah Kerstetter
Careen Yarnal