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Welcome to the home page of the Diversity Research Laboratory! The Laboratory was established in 2001 as part of the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the past eight years it has established itself as a leader in interdisciplinary research on issues of race, ethnicity, immigration, gender, disability, and leisure.  On this website you will find descriptions of numerous research projects and outreach activities undertaken by the faculty and graduate students affiliated with the Laboratory, as well as resources that might be helpful to those involved in research on diversity and leisure.
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Student Hightlights!

Jeremy Robinett, a member of the Diversity Research Laboratory, presented his doctoral proposal on May 3, 2013. His dissertation will use a social justice lens to explore how men negotiate expectations related to their bodies, gender patterns and sexualities through their friendships as a leisure context.



Mission Statement

The mission of the Diversity Research Laboratory is to advocate diversity by facilitating, producing and disseminating multidisciplinary research dedicated to leisure as it relates to diverse and distinct communities.

Race, Ethnicity and Leisure book published in September 2013.

Drs. Stodolska, Shinew, Floyd and Walker have published a co-edited book on race, ethnicity and leisure.The book provides an overview of the core theories, concepts, and research findings that have advanced our understanding of how race and ethnicity affect individual’s daily lives, their use of leisure services, and the provision of leisure services. The book consists of 19 chapters that explore, among others, leisure behavior of African Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans, theoretical frameworks and methodologies used in research on leisure of racial and ethnic minorities, issues of provision of leisure services to minority populations, leisure needs and motivations, constraints on leisure, and discrimination in leisure contexts.


Research Highlights

In 2012-2013, Drs. Stodolska from the University of Illinois, Dr. Peters from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and Dr. Horolets from Gdansk University, Poland, along with graduate students - Mariela Fernandez and Ella Duan conducted a study of the Natural Environments, Interracial/ Interethnic Interactions, and Inclusion of Immigrant Minorities. As part of the project, 70 interviews were collected from Chinese and Latino Americans in the U.S., Moroccan Dutch in the Netherlands, Turkish Germans in Germany, and Ukrainians and Vietnamese immigrants in Poland. Among others, the findings of the study showed that changes in the use of natural environments after immigration were related to the move from rural to urban areas, geographic differences, access to and maintenance of natural environments, strong focus on work and lack of time as well as problems with transportation among some immigrants. Visits to natural environments improved immigrants' awareness of the place and the country they lived in, and helped them to learn about the customs and traditions of the local population.