From the CIRCLE homepage today:
Young people in the United States are starkly divided in how they use their leisure time. Some exclusively pursue their artistic or athletic passions and eschew other types of activities. Others spend their time on academic clubs, perhaps “building their resume” with an eye toward applying to selective universities. Still others are mostly disengaged from extracurriculars and other organized activities, either because they are working for pay or because they would rather informally hang out with friends. This variation, and the “clusters” of like-minded students that it creates, can partially be attributed to personal preference. However, it also reflects troubling gaps based on widening social disparities.
In our most recent working paper, “Harry, Hermione, Ron and Neville– Portraits of American Teenagers’ Extracurricular Involvement, and Implications for Educational Interventions,” CIRCLE Deputy Director Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg analyzes these trends in how contemporary American teens spend their leisure time, with particular consideration to how socioeconomic class affects students’ involvement in organized activities their schools or communities.