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The Era of Legalized Gambling Essay

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Updated: Jan 6th, 2022

The sociology of any institution always embraces a definite pattern of behavior between and amongst individuals. There are roles; positions; interactions; structures and more importantly interrelationships. These are the paradigms through which social scientist tend to establish a perception that distinguishes practices within an institution from merely relationships among group members.

As such, in modern societies there are traditional as well and modern institutions. Sociologists and anthropologists alike when researching people and how they operate within groups sometimes find it difficult to differentiate among established institutions and emerging ones. It is true that in the final analysis institutions determine the way their interaction would be perceived based on how structures are established to achieve collective goals.

Therefore, the argument is that every institution functions to achieve goals of interest groups. On many occasions validation of society is not necessary. Actually, the power foundation on which some are constructed forges societal acceptance since insidious values sustain their existence. In essence, then, it takes risk and boldness to relate group interactions; roles; positions; structures and interrelationships as being institutions.

Ultimately, the sociology of gambling can be conceptualized as an institution of risk taking which very extensively has become interwoven into American Financial culture. Obvious questions are then asked, non- judgmentally, but precisely, how does this institutional culture impact activities on Wall Street; an artificial financial crisis; and the international perception of forced and voluntary gambling.

The mere fact that there are no laws in America prohibiting institutionalized gambling on Wall Street is indicative of its nature to support traditional economic institutions. Its power base foundation has forced the International Monetary Fund as well as world banking institutions to recognize the impact it has in shaping a new world economic order. This is achieved by merely by taking risks every day in casino interactions; stocks trading and horse racing.

Even though the history of Wall Street actually began as a risking taking venture in trading of stocks it has escalated into a culture which determines a value of the US dollar on a daily basis. Presently, traditional institutions struggle to compete as these practices are exclusive to the interest groups’ values and goals which nourish this institution.

Consequently, Wall Street has the ability to create a financial crisis in America as well as prosperity within its gates. Investing in stocks entails the same amount of risks as playing a casino game or even the lotto. These elements are interwoven into the American financial culture with such sacredness that Wall Street has financial power to decide who remains in the White House swinging the economy in a disastrous personal interest direction.

According to Jim Cosgrave‘s perspective reflecting on Goffrman’s theory of ‘Where the action is’ an interpretation into the social organization of risk taking is attempted as he points out that this social phenomenon impinges on two elements within the risk taking relationship, action and ‘character. (Cosgrave 80-96)

Importantly, they build on each other to demonstrate power in taking risk action and actually how legalizations of the practice can influence character integrity. Money and financial interrelations between and among an interest groups help shape character of both the person and the risk/ gambling institution.

The conclusive speculation is whether there is a changing definition of risk and gambling applicable to contemporary societies. Also how does exposure to and perception of global, involuntary risks impact on a personal willingness to be enticed.

With reference to Cosgrave’s reflection on Goffrman’s theory of ‘where the action is.” It depends on where the action is pertaining to personal and societal values. If it is legalized it is a personal choice. If it is not condemned by society and thereby becomes illegal. In essence the institution of gambling is essentially the same but systems are being revised to adapt to the financial climate.

Works Cited

Cosgrave, James. International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory 1.1 (2008): 80-96.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Era of Legalized Gambling." January 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-era-of-legalized-gambling/.


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