Social Construction of Gambling

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PLEASURE PRINCIPLES: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GAMBLING AND SEX ADDICTION TREATMENT

A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in The Department of Sociology

by M. Kelly James B.A., University of Memphis, 1988 M.A., University of Memphis, 1991 August 2002

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Although many people have helped me accomplish this goal, I thank my family first. They taught me to believe in myself and to work hard to meet my goals and with their love and support, I was able to pursue graduate education.

I would like to thank my committee members for their ongoing advice and tutelage: Dr. William Bankston, Dr. Andrew Deseran, Dr. Thomas Durant, Dr. Michael Grimes, and Dr. Don Marzolf. Thanks also go to Dr. Katherine Rosier and Dr. Joan Manley for their guidance along the way.

Wanda Ashley, Donna Elisar, and Colleen O’Connor offered advice and support during my graduate school experience and I thank them wholeheartedly for their kindness and understanding.

In addition, I would like to thank Catherine Burton, Mary Gautier, Shirley Keeton, Cynthia Reynaud, and Mark Zelinsky for the many ways they helped me during the doctoral program. The Louisiana State University Sociology Department graduate students I want to thank are too numerous to mention by name so I thank them collectively for great conversation and wonderful fellowship.

A special thanks goes to Drayton Vincent for his encouragement and wisdom.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS..…………………………………………………………….ii ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………….……..iv CHAPTER ONE. TWO. THREE. FOUR. FIVE. SIX.

INTRODUCTION…………………………………….……….…1 REVIEW OF LITERATURE..……………………………....…..12 DATA AND METHODOLOGY………………………………...48 GAMBLING ADDICTION………………………………..……58 SEX ADDICTION………………………………..………...…....76 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS...….………………….….101

REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………108 APPENDIX: INTERVIEW INSTRUMENT AND RESEARCH AGENDA …………115 VITA………………………………….………….………………....………………….116

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ABSTRACT

The transformation of behavior into deviance requires many players, individuals, and institutions invested in the social construction process and its outcomes. Although considered private recreational matters by some, gambling and having sex are gaining spotlight in the addiction arena. With the growing availability of casino entertainment, lotteries, OTB venues, prostitution, internet pornography, and 900 numbers, gambling and sex are interpreted, labeled, and treated by addiction recovery specialists. Using ethnographic methods and face-to-face interviews, I explore Southeast Louisiana’s institutions and practitioners providing services to gambling and sex addicts. I examine the community’s discourse and its methods for defining and controlling addictive behaviors and addicted people. The research results in a set of typifications therapists use to explain addicted people. I analyze the gender-based frames and explore the ramifications of these frames.

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION This study explores the social construction of deviant labels. Deviant behavior is a compelling subject for study. From social science researchers to ministers to citizens, people wonder why individuals and groups deviate only to risk sanctions. Rules are widespread in society and exist in many forms. Families use rules to raise children and schools use rules to maintain classroom standards. Religious texts offer behavior guides and laws codify unacceptable actions. Punishments vary greatly, also, with some being harsher than others. Parents may spank their children to ensure conformity or take away privileges. The criminal justice system fines, incarcerates offenders, and puts some to death. Even with these societal restrictions and social control agents, people still break the rules. Curious citizens seek to...
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