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Gambling: A Sociological Review

Gambling: A Sociological Review


The study of gambling behavior or of the impact of gam bling on social institutions does not have a signficant tradition in sociology. There have been a few attempts to test propositions associated with func tionalism, alienation, anomie, and decision making; however, the results of these studies have proven inconclusive. Despite the fact that a large propor tion of any society participates in gambling and that gambling is continuing to affect public policy in many jurisdictions, sociologists have not treated gambling as behavior worthy of serious investigation. This article reviews (1) the application of various sociological theories to gambling behavior; and (2) the results of the limited number of research efforts prompted by these perspectives.
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