Gambling Ain’t What It Used To Be: The Instrumentalization of Gambling and Late Modern Culture
Keywords:Gambling, Instrumentalization, Rationalization, Weber, Habermas
This article addresses significant cultural macro-processes shaping legalized gambling as a mass consumer market, which also serve various state and private industry ends. The processes examined here are “instrumentalization” and rationalization, explored through the seminal formulations of Max Weber and developed further in the work of Jurgen Habermas. Instrumentalization relates to Weber’s concepts of rationalization and instrumental rationality, as well as to Habermas’s distinction between the “system” and “lifeworld”. While the phenomenon of instrumentalization is approached largely from a macro-perspective, it is understood to have effects on the lifeworld, on social action, and the formation of (gambling) subjectivities. The discussion of instrumentalization and rationalization, as broad cultural processes, contributes to the genealogy of gambling in (late) modern culture. It also serves to develop a particular theoretical trajectory within critical gambling studies and indicates themes that could be opened up for further analysis.
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Copyright (c) 2022 James Cosgrave
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