Race, Ethnicity, and Participation in Leisure Activities

In "Gender and Leisure" by Susan Shaw and "Ethnicity, Race, and Leisure" by James H. Gramann and Maria T. Allison, the authors describe major ways in which race, ethnicity, and gender influence access and participation in recreation and leisure .

While distinctions of gender are fairly clear in examining the differences between males and females, despite the emergence of a transgendered community, a key difficulty in assessing the impact of race and ethnicity is the way these are defined. That's because of a growing multicultural society in the US, Europe, the UK and Canada, which are blurring traditional and ethnic distinctions. But, putting those difficulties aside, this article first discusses the influence of gender and then of race and ethnicity.

As Shaw points out, there are three main ways in which gender has influenced leisure – in terms of activity participation, the gendered nature of leisure constitutions, and through gendered outcomes of leisure. The activity approach has shown that a number of activities are stereotyped according to gender, and that there have been differences in "opportunities, experiences, and a time for leisure." For example, as can be readily observed by anyone who goes to a sports event or visits museums, art galleries, and public lectures, as confirmed by the research, there is a greater participation by men in "sports and physical activities" and by women In "arts and cultural activities." Then, too, there is a gendered nature to passive leisure, which affects the books, magazines, and film men and women read and view, as well as the hobbies and crafts they participate in. While Shaw notes that little research has examined these differences, these distinctions based on gender can already be seen in the way marketers target certain types of books, such as those on self-help and relationships to women, and those on sports and business to men . Similarly, films dealing with romance and relationships are targeted to women, and films featuring adventure and action to men.

Also, confirming what has been evident to the general public, in modern industrialized societies, men have generally had more time to participate in leisure activities, because of what sociologist Arlie Hochschild, who I studied with at UC Berkeley, calls the "second shift. " This is because working and married women have generally taken on most of the household and childcare chores at home, so they not only have participated in the paid work, but when they come home, they work again. Meanwhile, since they have been less engaged than women in the household, the men get to enjoy additional leisure time, thanks to their women partners.

However, these studies cited by Shaw about women having less leisure time were done in the 1980s and 1990s. In recent years, this distinction between the leisure time for men and women seems to be changing, according to the popular media, in that men are more importantly involved in splitting up the housework and parenting. This shift is even reflected in the popular media, where the men end up with the kids and learn to enjoy being dads, such as Once Fallen. At the same time, successful women workers are hiring nannies to do the housework and care for their kids and even hiring surrogates to birth them.

As for constraints, these differently affect the opportunities men and women have for leisure. For example, the 1980s and 1990s research cited has shown that women are more constrained than men because of household obligations and family commitments, and because they feel a social obligation due to the "ethic of care," where women may feel an obligation to care For others, so they feel less free to enjoy leisure for themselves. Then, too, women may feel constrained from participating in certain types of activities, because of their fear of violence (such as in boxing and wrestling) or their concern with their body image (such as in swimming), while men may resist participating in Activities that seem too feminine and threaten them masculinity (such as ballet).

When it comes to race and ethnicity, it is more complicated to measure either participation or constitutions, because of the problems in classifying people by race or ethnicity. These classification problems have occurred because of ethnic and racial diversity and multiculturalism, so the old census racial classifications are breaking down, as pointed out by Gramann and Allison. But those complications aside, much of the research has focused on the different ways that different ethnic and racial groups participate in outdoor recreation, and the results have indicated that Whites tend to participate more in these activities than minority group members. While one reason that many minority group members do not participate is due to their marginal position in society, wheree they have a lower income and can not afford to participate, have poor transportation, or fear discrimination, another factor may be cultural differences. Certainly, marginality could be a factor for those with limited incomes, when they have to pay substantial amounts to participate in leisure activities that are mostly participating in by Whites, such as going to dinners in expensive restaurants or paying entry fees for theater and other cultural Events.

But another key factor, apart from income and social class is that the members of racial and ethnic groups may have their own "culturally based value system, norms, and leisure socialization patterns," so they have different interests. An example of this can be seen in areas of ethnic concentration, such as Oakland, where there is a Chinatown in the downtown area, African-American areas in Western and East Oakland, and Latin-American areas in the Fruitvale district. In each area, there are different types of activities that appeal to those in the ethnic groups in the area, such as the dragon boat races of the Chinese, the Kwanza celebration of the African-Americans, and the Day of the Dead celebration of Mexican -Americans. Also, members of the different groups may like reading books and magazines as well as viewing films that feature their own racial or cultural group, whereas Whites are less likely to be interested in these culturally-based types of entertainment. As Gramann and Allison point out, such racially and ethnic based choices of leisure may occur because they are "expressions of culture" or they may be an indication of "selective acculturation". Then too, these culturally-based forms of leisure could be examples of "ethnic boundary maintenance," where individuals individuals chose to engage in certain activities to highlight their ethnic differences, such as when Native Americans have pow-wows around the country to celebrate their tribal Identities.

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Financial Strategies For Troubled Firms

There are strategies that troubled companies can use to save themselves from dire straits and regain their former financial success. These same sort of strategies are valuable for business owners and financial executives to understand how their firms can avoid financial turbulence and failure.

We must first realize that business failure or bankruptcy never happens overnight. Normally there is a gradual trend of financial deterioration that is sometimes exacerbated by industry troubles. No doubt in the current 2009-2010 environment the auto industry is a poster child for a troubled industry, as an example.

Naturally firms that are on the very precipice of failure or bankruptcy do not have many options or time left. It has to fix itself, or sink. No business owners or entrepreneurs want to face bankruptcy, liquidation, and other creditor issues.

Do financially failing firms survive because of a revival in products or their services, or have they in fact executed on improved financial management. This is a challenging questions, because the very financial problems that beset a firm hinder it in getting new sales, acquiring inventory, and regaining supplier credibility.

Also, lets be realistic, banks and other finance companies do not throw themselves at failing firms with financial offers of loans, lines of credit, etc. In fact what usually happens is that the company is forced to pledge some or all assets at much higher rates, sometimes simply accentuating the financial problems that were already there.

So what are the financial strategies that a firm can undertake to avoid financial failure when it has been losing sales, not generating profits, and generally traveling down a potential death spiral?

There are three or four solid strategies that can save the firm. The first is ‘ assets ‘. The second is liabilities and debt, and the third we will simply call ‘ maneuverering ‘.

Strategy 1:

Assets have value. They can be sold, re financed,, or pledged to secure new financing. This type of strategy works best when it works for all parties, the company and the lender, or the company and another firm. However lets be clear that this is somewhat of a one shot strategy. It either must work or it doesn’t. Asset maneuvers have 3 stages of success: assets can be used to get a new loan, assets can be sold, or they can, in somewhat of a worst case scenario, be liquidated.

Strategy 2:

On the other side of assets on the balance sheet is debt and equity. Debt can be structured properly to ensure the lender gets a reasonable reward, and the company is able to both repay and survive. There are too many types of debt to consider for the purposes of this article – suffice to say that creativity in debt is somewhat unlimited. A firm could issue debt, as an example, and repay only when the company is earning profits again.This would normally entail higher rates, but again, as we have stated, the transaction has to make sense both for customer and lender. A solid alternative solution is to simply re – structure existing debt at new rates and amortizations.

Alternatively to debt a company with promise can bring in new equity or ownership. This is somewhat more risk for all as dilution of ownership is usually significant when a company is failing and bring in new equity capital.

Strategy 3: A firm sometimes has to look to the outside for help. Since the owners and managers are often too close to the problem it is somewhat of a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees. Outside consultants and industry experts can often bring a solution to the table. They have insights that management simply did not possess. These strategies include developing new sales and product strategies, bring in new management, or considering a strategic merger.

In summary, anyone who has worked through several business cycles over a number of years knows that companies can in fact be saved. Some go on to be the new super stars of their respective industry. The company must clearly uncover what the problem is, and then adapt strategies, financial or otherwise, to fix those problems

Pets – Safety Tips at Holiday Time

The holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving has just passed and before you know it … or usually we are ready for it … you'll be waking up to Christmas morning. Boy, does not the year fly by? Along with all the joy the holidays bring, they can also present some particular hazards to the health of your pet – and consequently, to your peace of mind. Here are some ideas that can help prevent problems so that your holiday is a happy one for all.

First, it's a good idea of ​​know your vet's holiday hours. Keep emergency phone numbers and any special holiday requirements where they will be easily accessible.

Give some thought about how you'll use plants to decorate. Birds, cats and dogs will all nibble on household plants – and many of them are toxic or poisonous, including mistletoe and poinsettias. They can make your pet very ill so be sure to keep them out of your pet's reach.

If your celebration includes having a Christmas tree you should use some caution in placing the decorations on it. Only use unbreakable decorations at the bottom of your tree so there is not any danger of your cat batting a glass ball and breaking it, or the pup chewing your grandmother's antique bubble lights. As for birds – they should not have any access to the tree, decorations, plants and such. For those of us who live with pet birds, we know what mischief they can get into very quickly … not to mention how destructive they can be. So keep your birds confined, or watch them like a hawk (so to speak) when they are out of their cage. Better to be safe than sorry.

As far as the less exotic pets go … that is, cats and dogs … how about putting some kitty baubles or doggie toys on the lower branches of the tree instead of your fragile and valuable decorations. That way, if those pets are attracted to the tree they'll find something appropriate for them. Or, here is another suggestion that has proved successful for protecting both pets and little ones. Put the Christmas tree and gifts into a playpen. That may not stop kitty, but at least the tree can not fall down as easily as she decides to climb it. Granted, it might be a little strange to see the holiday tree and gifts in a playpen, but it might just be the ticket for your situation.

Since we are on the subject of the Christmas tree, here is another safety hint. If you have a live tree placed in water wrap the base so your pets can not drink the water. Many modern live trees have been sprayed with chemicals that may be toxic to your little friends.

Be very, very careful with candles. Your bird or cat may be enticed by the flicker of the flame. Singed whiskers or feathers would certainly put a damper on holiday cheer, not to mention the horror your pet would suffer from a serious burn. Place glass "hurricane lanterns" or other attractive covers over candles to protect your home and your pets.

Give some thought to New Years Eve. Pets are typically fried by the traditional firecrackers and other noisy merriment and it's best to have a plan to keep them from becoming afraid by the noise. Some dogs may be severely traumatized by fireworks so be sure to leave them inside if you go out to celebrate.

Pets, especially birds and cats, may be stressed by the changes in household routine during the holidays, especially if you are stressed yourself. Some cats and dogs respond to stress by becoming hyper or hysterical, and some simply retreat. Plan to spend some special time with your pets to calm yourself and reassure them during this period. If your pet is especially upset with strangers visiting, prepare a refugee where he can go to escape the "maddening crowd."

And last of all, we wish you and your family a wonderful and safe holiday.

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An Introduction To Teacher Education

A teacher's job is a highly respected and specialized field, be it teaching kindergarten, grade school, high school, college, or post-graduate courses. Teachers are necessary in all fields of education, and in order to be teachers themselves, they need to be educated by experts in their desired fields.

Teacher education is a diverse field, covering numerous subjects and various methods of teaching. Teaching in any field is demanding and is a challenging task. Beyond regular education, some people choose to follow specialized paths, such as early childhood education or special education. These teachers need extra educational background in order to be certified to deal with their specific students. These teachers need to have intense patience and be friendly with toddlers. Innovative play way methods need to be adopted to ensure continuing interest among children.

Another specialized educational field is Montessori teaching. This style of teaching appears to be simple, but in reality, it is highly demanding. As this is a specific style of teaching, aimed at gifted or advanced students, with a degree of flexibility and customization not found in traditional curriculums, teachers will need to learn the best ways to work within the Montessori structure, and apply their educational background to This style of teaching.

Elementary or primary school is the backbone for all people's education. Thus, these teachers have to be able to convey basic principles, such as reading, spelling, writing and math, as well as cover basic science, social studies, and sometimes foreign language courses. Of course, all of this has to be taught in an age-appropriate fashion. Elementary teacher education focuses on methods that work best for young students.

High school teachers face challenges elementary school teachers usually do not. Because they teach teenagers who are dealing with the issues of adolescence and can often "act out," teachers need to learn how to engage and motivate this difficult age group. Subjects are taught in greater depth in high school, as well, so the teacher will need more specific knowledge. They also sometimes have to be ready to compensate for any gaps in elementary education, particularly deprivations in the basics – reading, writing and math.

Ultimately, the goal of teacher education is to provide future teachers – or teachers looking to further develop their teaching ability – with the skills that they need to convey essential information to their students. The training they will require depends on many factors, including the age group, subjects, and type of school that they will be teaching in.