Acculturation via nature-based outdoor recreation: a comparison of Mexican and Chinese ethnic groups in the United States
This research considers acculturation by Mexican and Chinese groups in the United States and how participation in five nature-based outdoor recreation activities may be an indicator of acculturation to American society. We argue that the greater incidence of professional human capital among Chinese immigrants helps this group acculturate more quickly than Mexicans, who are more likely to be labor immigrants and that as a result, Chinese immigrants will be more likely than Mexican immigrants to participate in nature-based outdoor recreation activities. We also posit that US-born Chinese have a greater likelihood of participation compared to US-born Mexicans. Results show Chinese immigrant participation is distinguished only slightly from Mexican immigrant participation; no differences were found between US-born Chinese and US-born Mexicans. Within-group comparisons show immigrant Chinese participation to be more aligned with US-born Chinese participation than immigrant Mexican participation to US-born Mexican participation. Results from this study are intended to help raise awareness among environmental professionals of the different ways nature may be perceived by various cultural groups and also to alert managers of the important role natural resources can play in acculturating immigrants to US society.