Mexican-american/anglo cultural differences as recreation style determinants

Patricia Noonan Irwin, William C. Gartner, Carolyn C. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The fastest growing minority group in the United States is Hispanic, with the majority of this group made up of Mexican-Americans. Researchers question whether this group forms a distinct subculture in American society and if present recreation facility design provides opportunities for the reinforcement of cultural values. Mexican-American and Anglo campers using a minimally developed U.S. Forest Service managed campground in New Mexico were surveyed during the summer of 1985. Significant differences were noted between the groups. In particular, larger party sizes were noted for Mexican-American campers than for the Anglo groups. Mexican Americans also indicated a preference for nearness to other campers, placed a higher priority on tangible campground design features, and intended to use more highly developed campgrounds and decrease use of dispersed or roadless area campgrounds in the future. Noted differences were believed related more to cultural identity than either socioeconomic or social class variances. There is some evidence to suggest that properly designed recreation facilities may provide the means to perpetuate important cultural traits for subcultural groups in American society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-348
Number of pages14
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


  • Culture and subculture
  • Mexican-Americans
  • Recreation behavior differences
  • Recreation facility design


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