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Canadian Dream, Capitalism, and the State: Structural Conditions of Youth Gambling in Canada

  • Reza Barmaki
  • Masood Zangeneh
Article

Abstract

Adolescent gambling is a major social problem in North America. Over the years this problem has given rise to a number of theoretical explanations. This paper argues that the existing explanations of youth gambling underestimate the influence of broader structural forces conducive to youth gambling problem and, instead, provide micro analyses that often blames individuals for their gambling problems. As such, these theories produce incomplete pictures of a persistent, cohesive and growing problem. Canadian youth’s gambling problem is said to be better understood within the nexus of: (1) the Canadian state’s pro-gambling policies due to the need for revenues, (2) the discrepancy between widely shared Canadian cultural values-wealth, power, and success-and legitimate means of achieving them, and (3) the capitalist processes of profit making and commodification.

Keywords

Gambling Commodification Youth Commercialization Theory 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.St. Michael’s HospitalCentre for Research on Inner City Health, CanadaTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Gambling Research CentreAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand

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