Information technologies and gambling: a Durkheimian perspective
Gambling has a long history as a social practice, through which bonds can be created and maintained, and as a part of creative and reenacted social habits and celebrations. Problem gambling runs counter to such orientations, in breaking down relationships, and being practiced obsessively and compulsively. A Durkheimian perspective offers insights into the phenomenon of gambling, by focusing on the social basis to practice in analysing the ways in which economic, political and social conditions and changes affect society. New information technologies can be part of such conditions and changes, both generally occurring, and, those specifically concerning gambling. Durkheim viewed society as an entity in itself, such that alterations in one part of it can impact on others, and was concerned about rapid changes and their impact on society. Not unlike an individual's sickness, negative forms of excitement and morbidity that can be acute and chronic can infect the social body. This presentation will outline Durkheim's significant concepts and relate them to information technologies and gambling.