Sociology of Gambling

Summary of Reading

Gambling has for a long time been regarded to as a social vice (Eagley and Chaiken, 1993). The act of gambling is normally regarded to as immoral. This is because it is addictive and in most cases people tend to lose their money or any other valuable item that was used as stake.

However, the more an individual loses, the more he/she feels like playing in order to recover his loss and make a quick profit. In most situations, such individuals tend to end up in even more losses. It is due to this fact that the society has a negative attitude towards gambling. However, in the US, gambling alone bring in more revenue than the sale of movie tickets, theme parks, music concerts and sports events combined (Bernhard and Frey, 2006).

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Furthermore, 50 states in the United States have legalized several forms of gambling. This therefore shows that gambling is a part and parcel of our society. The act of gambling has been there in since time immemorial, is with us today and will continue until perpetuity. It is therefore essential for sociologist to understand the positive aspects of gambling and the impact that it has on our lives.

To support these arguments, several theories have been presented that try to explain the social aspect of gambling. During the renaissance era, the Catholics used gambling as one of the weaknesses against the Protestants who advocated for it (Greenwald et al, 2002). The catholic stated that it is wrong and evil to get something without working for it.

This act was compared to the acts and promises that were made by Satan. In the early 20th century, Devereux explained the gambling theory with the use of the institutional theory. He suggested that gambling had more impact on the society that its individualistic and pathological effects that were well known.

At the present moment, sociologists have shifted their views and regard gambling as a form of play (Boyer, 2003). Many countries have lotteries and have legalised gambling which, in many circumstances is controlled by the betting and licensing board. They also state that gambling, as an act is a good leisure activity just like any other form of entertainment.

Critique of the arguments presented

As stated in the article, gambling is an act that can be used for leisure. The act has been a part of the human culture for many generations now. Due to this fact, it is essential to fully understand it and utilize its benefits to improve the status of individuals and the society (Allport, 2005).

As stated in the article, gambling has high economic return. This money can be used to fund other projects hence improve the development of the economy. In addition, the act of gambling keeps people occupied. This therefore prevents them from committing social ills. However, it is essential to control the level of gambling. However, for gambling to be socially viable, it should be controlled. This is because the act of gambling is addictive and may lead to adverse conditions on individuals and the society.

Application of the arguments

Occasional gambling is one of my pass time activities. I have been participating in lotteries and charities ever since I was 12 years old. I do this not only to win but for the fun of it. If properly controlled, participating in charities and lotteries can be fun. From the experience that I have, I think that I believe that gambling can be used to improve the status of the society.

References

Allport, G.W. (2005). Attitudes. In C.M. Murchison. Handbook of social psychology Winchester, MA: Clark University Press.

Bernhar, B and Frey, J. (2006). The Sociology of Gambling. Brayant, 1(1), 399-404.

Boyer, M. (2003). Attentional bias and addictive behaviour: Automaticity in a gambling-specific modified Stroop task. Addiction, 98, 61–70.

Eagley, A., and Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.

Greenwald, A.G., Banaji, M.R., Rudman, L.A., Farnham, S.D., Nosek, B.A., & Mellot, D.S. (2002). A unified theory of implicit attitudes, stereotypes, self-esteem, and self-concept. Psychological Review, 109, 3–25.

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