Submission Type

Presentation

Session Title

Session 1-1-E: Gambling and the American Dream

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

28-5-2019 9:15 AM

End Date

28-5-2019 10:40 AM

Disciplines

Social Psychology and Interaction

Abstract

This paper explores a continuum of gaming, gambling, and risk taking in society at large as crucial for understanding the American dream. The distinction is made between gaming as a challenge enjoyed for its own sake, gambling as betting a value on a chancy outcome, and calculated risk taking as a means of getting ahead in life’s journey. The argument is made that everyday life is full of practical gambles which expose risk takers to setbacks and opportunities and which impact our life chances. The question is raised how the unequal distribution of life chances in American society affects the agent’s willingness and ability to take a gamble.

Keywords

gaming, gambling, risk taking, American dream

Author Bio

Dmitri N. Shalin has a Ph.D. from the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Science (1973) and Ph.D. from Columbia University (1991). Dr. Shalin is professor of sociology; director of the UNLV Center for Democratic Culture; coordinator of Justice & Democracy Forum series; editor of the Social Health of Nevada Report; co-director of the International Biography Initiative, Erving Goffman Archives, and Yuri Levada Archives; assembler of Intercyberlibrary and Pragmacyberlibrary; organizer of international forums on Russian Art and Culture; and administrator of the MoodCounts Survey. His research interests and publications are in the areas of pragmatism, social theory, emotional intelligence, biocritical studies, democratic culture, and Russian society.

Funding Sources

None

Competing Interests

None

Comments

This is a proposal for a panel titled "Gambling and the American Dream" that includes several contributors: Andrea Dassopoulos, Josiah Kidwell, Marta Soligo, and Dmitri Shalin

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May 28th, 9:15 AM May 28th, 10:40 AM

Gaming, Gambling, and Getting Ahead in American Society

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

This paper explores a continuum of gaming, gambling, and risk taking in society at large as crucial for understanding the American dream. The distinction is made between gaming as a challenge enjoyed for its own sake, gambling as betting a value on a chancy outcome, and calculated risk taking as a means of getting ahead in life’s journey. The argument is made that everyday life is full of practical gambles which expose risk takers to setbacks and opportunities and which impact our life chances. The question is raised how the unequal distribution of life chances in American society affects the agent’s willingness and ability to take a gamble.