Gambling and the contradictions of consumption - A genealogy of the 'Pathological' subject

Reith, G. (2007) Gambling and the contradictions of consumption - A genealogy of the 'Pathological' subject. American Behavioral Scientist, 51(1), pp. 33-55. (doi: 10.1177/0002764207304856)

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This article argues that the emergence of 'problem gambling' as a distinct social phenomenon is the result of a particular convergence of discourses and socioeconomic formations that express the underlying contradictions of late-modem consumer societies. Although historically gambling has been criticized for undermining the ethic of production, today the notion of problem gambling is articulated in terms that are oppositional to the ideology of a 'consumption ethic' based on the values of self-control, self-actualization, responsibility, and reason. This is related to wider socioeconomic trends whereby the decline of external forms of regulation is matched by rising demands for individual self-control, which is conducted through consumption. In the case of gambling, the liberalization and deregulation of the industry and the simultaneous expectation that individual players govern themselves express the tensions inherent in consumer capitalism and create the conditions for the emergence of the problem gambler as a unique historical type

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Discourse, Gambling, Societies, Society
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reith, Professor Gerda
Authors: Reith, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:American Behavioral Scientist

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