Gambling, losses and self-esteem: An interactionist approach to the Betting Shop by Cormac McNamara [book publication].

Synopsis: This book provides new insights into contemporary betting shops, with a particular focus on the manner in which losing bets are dealt with by customers. Drawing on research undertaken in Ireland, it demonstrates that customers tend to shift responsibility for monetary losses onto factors external to themselves as part of a collective process engaged in to restore self-esteem, and considers the role played by announcements made in betting shops in creating an atmosphere of inclusion – and the implications of this for ‘problem gambling’. Through an analysis of newspaper representations of the first legally operating betting shops in Ireland, which opened in the 1920s, the author places the contemporary betting shop in historical context and examines trends in gambling across the British Isles with reference to social class and the security or precarity of work. An interactionist study not only of gambling but also of responsibility and the connection between the micro-world and social structures, this volume will appeal to sociologists with interests in symbolic interactionism and strategies of blame.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction
2. Research Approach
3. Responsibility-Shifting – part I & part II
4. Betting and Belonging
5. The Early Days of the Irish Betting Shop – 1926-1930
6. Gambling and Work in the 21st Century
7. Concluding Remarks
Book details from publisher’s website

Book reference: McNamara, C. (2019). Gambling, losses and self-esteem: An interactionist approach to the Betting Shop. London: Routledge.

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Surveillance, responsibility and control: An analysis of government and industry discourses about “problem” and “responsible” gambling

Background: Discussions of gambling have traditionally focused on ideas of “problem” and “responsible” gambling. However, few studies have examined how Institutions attempt to exert social control over gamblers in order to promote so-called “responsible” behaviour. In this study, we examine the way “problem” and “responsible” gambling are discussed by Australian governments and the gambling industry, using a theoretical framework based on the work of Foucault. Method: We conducted a thematic analysis of discourses surrounding problem and responsible gambling in government and gambling industry websites, television campaigns and responsible gambling materials…

Source: Miller, H. E., Thomas, S. L., Smith, K. M., & Robinson, P. (2015). Surveillance, responsibility and control: An analysis of government and industry discourses about ‘problem’ and ‘responsible’ gambling. Addiction Research & Theory, 0(0), 1–14.