Stepping Out: Chinese Immigrants in The Canadian Wilderness A Qualitative Study of Recent Chinese Immigrants’ Outdoor Recreation Experiences in Canada
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The demographic composition of Canadian society is undergoing a significant change in that immigrants are becoming the fastest growing visible group. While the size of Chinese immigrants in Canada is significant, this is not reflected in outdoor recreation participation. Studies have outlined the constraints for immigrants to participate in outdoor recreation, and based on those studies, several outdoor recreation introductory programs (ORIPs) have been developed to encourage immigrants’ outdoor recreation participation. However, little is known about recent Chinese immigrants’ lived outdoor recreation experiences and their perception of outdoor recreation participation, and that has limited the impact of research on the design, implementation, and marketing of ORIPs targeting Chinese immigrants. To address the gaps in the literature, this study contributes in-depth qualitative data about recent Chinese immigrants’ lived outdoor recreation experiences and their perception of outdoor recreation participation. Narrative inquiry was used as methodology, and data was collected through interviews with eight recent Chinese immigrant families and individuals in the Greater Toronto Area. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically using an inductive approach. Findings revealed that the participants represented four recent Chinese immigrants segments (i.e., Newcomer Parents, Established Parents, Settling Adults, and Still-exploring Youth). A real-life context framework with three top priorities and three guiding values was identified to examine and interpret recent Chinese immigrants’ lived outdoor recreation experiences, as well as their perception of outdoor recreation participation. Implications for the development of ORIPs targeting recent Chinese immigrants were also discussed. This study contributes to the existing understanding of Chinese immigrants’ outdoor recreation participation and has uncovered implications for various associated stakeholders including researchers, outdoor educators and other practitioners who work with Chinese immigrants.