The Labor of Luck: Casino Capitalism in the United States and South Africa / Edition 1

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In this gripping ethnography, Jeffrey J. Sallaz goes behind the scenes of the global casino industry to investigate the radically different worlds of work and leisure he found while investigating identically designed casinos in the United States and South Africa. Seamlessly weaving political and economic history with his own personal experience, Sallaz provides a riveting account of two years spent working among both countries' casino dealers, pit bosses, and politicians.

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Editorial Reviews

American Journal Of Sociology - Daniyal Zuberi
“An important contribution to the sociology of work.”
Intl Journal Of Comparative Soci - Terry Austrin
“Extremely useful. . . . Brings gambling out of the confines of literatures on deviance and pathology into the mainstream of sociology.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520259492
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/2/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey J. Sallaz is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Tables xi

Preface xiii

Introduction: Dealing with Globalization 1

Part I Behind The Tables 27

1 Nevada: Learning to Deal 29

2 Silver State Casino: Entrepreneurs at Work 41

3 South Africa: Gambling with Empowerment 71

4 Gold City Casino: Effacing Labor 89

Part II Beyond the Scenes 111

5 The Politics of Producing Service 113

6 Cut from the Same Cloth: Convergent Historical Origins 126

7 The Birth of Regulation: States, Stigmata, and Symbolic Capital 162

8 Of Dice and Men: Divergent Modes of Management 197

Conclusion: Casino Capitalism and Politico-Performativity 235

Methodological Appendix: Comparative Ethnography and Reflexive Science 251

Notes 261

Bibliography 293

Index 311

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