The Sociology of Gambling

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Charles C Thomas Publisher, 2003 - Psychology - 440 pages
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This volume focuses on the contributions of specialists in the social sciences. It reviews the efforts and ideas of sociologists, economists, anthropologists, and social psychologists who have employed a variety of methods to further our understanding of why people gamble. Early "armchair" theorists relied more on conjecture than observation to arrive at highly speculative conclusions. Others, unable to divorce themselves from prevailing ideologies, forced their findings into whichever theoretical mold happened to be currently in vogue. To obtain more empirical data with which to test these theories, later investigators interacted directly with active gamblers by becoming participant observers in actual gambling venues. Those who preferred a qualitative approach observed and interviewed smaller numbers of current and former gamblers. Some were already committed gamblers themselves; others became card dealers, roulette croupiers, and other paid employees of commercial gambling establishments. Those who preferred a quantitative approach analyzed statistical data from questionnaire surveys of larger groups and special populations. Their aim was not only to determine the gambling habits and preferences of different sub-groups, but also to identify the demographic, environmental, and behavioral risk factors that are most likely to predict recreational and problem gambling. Owing to their methodological differences, some of the studies reviewed in this volume reflect the gambler's point of view while others represent that of the investigator. Despite their differences in orientation, most social scientists are convinced that gambling is a consequence of the particular social or subcultural environment in which the gambler lives.
 

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Contents

Chapter 1 GAMBLING AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE
22
Chapter 2 GAMBLING AND ECONOMICS
36
PART IIQUALITATIVE APPROACHES
53
Chapter 3 TESTS OF ARMCHAIR THEORIES
55
Chapter 4 THE RESEARCHERS POINT OF VIEW
68
Chapter 5 THE GAMBLERS POINT OF VIEW
94
PART III QUANTITATIVE APPROACHES
137
Chapter 6 STATISTICAL TESTS OF EARLIER IDEAS
138
Chapter 7 LARGE SCALE SOCIOLOGICAL SURVEYS
168
Chapter 8 GAMBLING AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC
205
FEMALE ELDERLY
262
Chapter 11 PROBLEM GAMBLING CORRELATES
285
Chapter 12 CRITIQUE OF QUANTITATIVE STUDIES
314
Chapter 13 CONCLUDING SUMMARY
327
INDEX
424
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About the author (2003)

Mikal Aasved is a Research Associate at the Center for Addiction Studies in the School of Medicine and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Minnesota in Duluth.

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