Where Isn’t the Action?

  • James Cosgrave Dept. of Sociology Trent University Durham, Oshawa, Ontario
Keywords: Action, gambling, character, risk-taking, Goffman


Erving Goffman’s seminal essay on gambling and risk-taking, ‘Where the Action Is’ was published over 50 years ago. This paper reconsiders the concept of action, and the related concept of ‘character’, for contemporary socio-cultural and economic conditions, where gambling opportunities abound. The paper also addresses the availability of action in other contemporary social domains and scenes. Action opportunities in late modernity have implications for the way character is conceived: thus, a late modern characterology is posited to address the changing social structural, cultural, and economic circumstances through which opportunities for action are distributed in variable ways.

Author Biography

James Cosgrave, Dept. of Sociology Trent University Durham, Oshawa, Ontario

James Cosgrave’s research interests include the sociology of gambling, and the state’s involvement in the legitimation and expansion of gambling markets. His publications include: The Sociology of Risk and Gambling Reader, and ‘Sociological Perspectives on Gambling,’ in The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology, Cambridge University Press (2017).

How to Cite
CosgraveJ. (2020). Where Isn’t the Action?. Critical Gambling Studies, 1(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.29173/cgs38
Original Research Articles