Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Norman, William C

Committee Member

Backman , Kenneth F

Committee Member

Haller , William J

Committee Member

Ramshaw , Gregory P

Abstract

In the past, international migration often required immigrants to uproot themselves completely from their old society in order to build a new home, start a new life, and pledge allegiance to a new country. However, new transportation and communication technologies allow contemporary immigrants to live in two worlds and maintain virtual and physical contact with their homeland through leisure and tourism. The purpose of this study is to understand the lived experience of second-generation immigrants as they engage in transnational leisure activities and trips to their homeland, as well as explore the relationship between second-generation immigrants' transnational homeland attachment and diaspora tourism experience.
Using a phenomenological approach, twenty-six second-generation Chinese-Americans who had the experience of traveling in China were interviewed. Two themes emerged from their transnational leisure experiences, which described their approaches to Chinese culture through leisure and their transformation from the childhood 'ways of being' to the more mature 'ways of belonging.' Five themes emerged from their diaspora tourism experience. The first two themes focused on the positives and negatives, and how they handled the negative aspects encountered during the trips. The next two themes described what they were searching for in China and how they learned to appreciate their bi-cultural identity. The last theme examined the notions of 'home' and 'homeland' and the different ways they connected to China by relating it to their home, hometown, and family. Findings revealed how being a second-generation immigrant influenced the way they saw and experienced China through transnational leisure and diaspora tourism.

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