By Gerda Reith

ISBN-10: 0203978307

ISBN-13: 9780203978306

ISBN-10: 0415179971

ISBN-13: 9780415179973

This attention-grabbing and broad examine, enlivened through interviews with British and American gamblers, should be mesmerizing examining not only for these attracted to the cultural and social implications of playing - researchers in sociology, cultural experiences and the background of rules - yet for somebody drawn to how we create that means in an more and more insecure global.

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Additional resources for Age of Chance: Gambling in Western Culture (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought, Number 22)

Sample text

The choice of whether to follow a pattern or plunge in at random rests with the reader. So, pick a chapter, any chapter…. NOTE ON THE TEXT Some of the material in this book was gathered from conversations with gamblers in various locations: bingo halls, race-tracks, fruit machine arcades, lottery queues and in casinos in Britain and Las Vegas. Wherever possible, these comments have been attributed to ‘punters’ in order to distinguish them from those that come from academic and literary sources, which have been attributed to ‘gamblers’ or ‘players’.

Chapters 4 and 5 are concerned with what is common to the experience of gambling in all these sites: with a phenomenological analysis of what it is actually like to play at games of chance, and what the activity means to participants. Here play is presented as a ‘thing-in-itself’; a self-contained social world, set against the world of utilitarian goals, with its own rules and conventions and within which the gambler’s orientation to the everyday world is altered. Chapter 4 looks at the experience of play itself: at the various psychological and affective states gamblers go through during the course of a game, as well as their perception of the fundamental categories of time, space and money.

It is argued that commercial forces are overturning centuries of condemnation, so that gambling is now beginning to shed its pariah status and to become incorporated into economic life as just another type of commodity. Chapters 4 and 5 are concerned with what is common to the experience of gambling in all these sites: with a phenomenological analysis of what it is actually like to play at games of chance, and what the activity means to participants. Here play is presented as a ‘thing-in-itself’; a self-contained social world, set against the world of utilitarian goals, with its own rules and conventions and within which the gambler’s orientation to the everyday world is altered.

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Age of Chance: Gambling in Western Culture (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought, Number 22) by Gerda Reith


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