I have to be honest and say I waited to write Blog 11 because the prompt made me envision a lot of blogs about gender and a lack of addressing race and class, which bothered me. Also, I didn't really know how to frame what I wanted to say about identities and leisure activities.
So I was reading through all the blog 11's today... and what struck me was the lack inclusion of class and race in regards to leisure time activities. There were only four or five blogs that addressed race and/or class, and the rest focused on gender. All of the blogs about gender had great insights about leisure time and identity. Instead of writing my own examples, I wanted to expand on the few blogs by classmates that addressed race and class.
kapp0081 wrote, "Something else to note is that gardening is pretty consistently associated with leisure and free time, but it's also something that has been deemed a necessity. As such there are jobs created for it, so gardening is something both leisure and function, something people who have free time do and something that people make their livelihoods in. This has interesting connotations in regards to leisure activities as profitable enterprises, but those that garden for profit aren't typically associated with higher classes." I would like to add that race comes into play in regards to gardening as paying labor because most people who work as gardeners are people of color. While gardening may be a leisure activity for people (read: white people with enough money and free time), it is a low paying job for many immigrants. Racial and class hierarchies are played out and reinforced when it comes to gardening.
mcdon462 wrote, "All in all, I think that not having as much time or money to participate in leisure activities that you really like to do such as shopping, going to concerts, travelling, etc, really does have an affect on the way you form and define your own identity." Not having enough time and/or money is so key regarding class identity. Most leisure activities cost money, and some can cost a lot of money. Also, people in lower classes tend to work more physically demanding jobs that I would argue are way more tiring. I know when I worked two full time jobs to make ends meet sometimes I physically couldn't do anything because I was so exhausted. Free time is such a privilege, and enjoying your free time is even more of a privilege.
gillx139 wrote about African American women and how dancing is seen as a way to 'prove' legitimate group membership. She wrote, "It's really interesting to see how we use the everyday things people do to label them or identify who they are based solely on these simple actions they carry out. In a way it's disturbing too because it shows how little we look to understand people, we assume we know them and everything there is to know about them based upon how they act." I think that's dead on, especially regarding race in the U.S.. This country has such a twisted legacy of racism, and it still has an impact today. This blog made me think about how racial identities are claimed and denied. Historically, having lighter skin color allowed for more mobility and was a desirable trait. With more racial/ethnic blending, skin color doesn't carry quite the same connotations as it once did, but other things act to allow or deny full membership into racial/ethnic categories - dance is a great example of this.
carli062 wrote about sports and class. She brought up great points about the historical roots of some sports and there ties to class, and touched on cost as a possible barrier to playing sports. Lastly, she touched on race and wrote, "There are still many sports that have a very little diversity. Fortunately there are many great athletes that have broken through these stereotypes, like Tiger Woods and Venus and Serena Williams." I would add that while Woods and Williams have broken through some stereotypes, there is still a lot of work to be done. For example Woods' race is often questioned, and there are claims that he's not really that 'black' because of his participation in a higher class (white) sport. Woods may be excluded from the racial/ethnic category of black in a similar way that a black girl who can't dance might be excluded or questioned. Furthermore, his participation in an essentially white man's sports breaks stereotypes to an extent, but could further them by making him an exception.
In conclusion, I will get off my soapbox now, I just really needed to bring up issues of race and class identities and leisure time because I think it's really important for a better understanding of intersectionality.