Social Representations of Responsibility in Gambling among Young Adult Gamblers: Control Yourself, Know the Rules, do not become Addicted, and Enjoy the Game...
Keywords:responsibility, gambling, social representations, young adults, neoliberalism
The responsible gambling approach is the subject of significant debate in the scientific community due to its tendency to individualize responsibility, focusing heavily on the gambler’s responsibility for gambling-related harm. Despite the gambler, and their responsibility, being the focus of responsible gambling discourse, their voices and perspectives remain largely absent. This study aims to address this limitation by documenting the social representations of the concept of responsibility held by gamblers themselves. How does the gambler perceive the concept of responsibility? Do they have an individual-centred understanding of this concept or are they able to distinguish their individual responsibility from that of the other stakeholders? This qualitative research is based on semi-structured interviews with 30 young adults (aged between 18 and 30 years old) who participated in gambling activities in the year preceding the research interview (2018). The results reveal that the social representations of responsibility held by gamblers fit into five categories: self control, knowing the rules and making the right decision, enjoying the game, not becoming an addict, and preventing harms related to gambling. All of these categories were found to be rooted in an individual perspective of responsibility. These results are discussed in light of the process of constructing the social representations of responsibility within the responsible gambling approach and in a neoliberal context.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Annie-Claude Savard, Mélina Bouffard, Jean-Philippe Laforge, Sylvia Kairouz
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Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to Critical Gambling Studies.