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Title: No matter of luck : a deconstruction of the Singapore state’s ‘problem gambling’ discourse and analysis of its effects on those targeted.
Authors: Gao, Zeke Sijing.
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology::Social deviance
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: This paper examines the Singapore state’s “problem gambling” discourse and its effects on those categorized as “problem gamblers”. I argue that “problem gambling” fore mostly provides for the state a legitimate middle-ground to account for the simultaneity of its paradoxical positions on gambling – that of pushing for local casino operations in the name of economic development, while advocating that casino gambling is “bad” for Singaporeans. Findings reveal that the state succeeds in doing so by playing on “Singaporean values” to convince society that the social fallouts of casino gambling result solely because of individual action and choice of deviant “problem gamblers”. Such a discourse hence paves the way for the state to “naturally intervene” in their lives through prescribed treatment, which they resist. Ultimately, this paper encourages a rethinking of state power as exercised through categorization. Because state categories give ideological and practical content to society, they can perform a “depoliticizing” function for the state by divorcing it from politically controversial issues (e.g. casino development) and turn win for the state, legitimacy against political dissent. This then, enables the state to realize its intended political goals.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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