Pub. Date:
Springer New York
The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, Substance Abuse, Medicine, and Metaphors / Edition 1

The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, Substance Abuse, Medicine, and Metaphors / Edition 1

by Peter Ferentzy, Nigel Turner


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This book documents the history of ideas about problem gambling and its link to addictive disorders. The book uses a combination of literature review and conceptual and linguistic analysis to explore the way ideas about problem gambling gave changed over time. It examines the religious, socio-cultural, and medical influences on the development of the conceptof problem gambling as a disease, along with the ways in which such ideaswere influenced by attitudes aboutsubstance abuse. The history of mental illness, notably as it pertains to themes such as loss of control over behavior, is also addressed. The book ends with a discussion of the current statusand future prospects, with an eye to which ideas about problem gambling and addictions seemmost promising and which should perhaps be left behind.​

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781461466987
Publisher: Springer New York
Publication date: 03/28/2013
Edition description: 2013
Pages: 174
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

Peter Ferentzy, PhD is a scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He received his doctoral degree in social and political thought from York University where his dissertation was a historical sociology of the origins and recent development of the modern concept of addiction with an emphasis on how it has interacted with ideas about mental illness and compulsions in general. Dr. Ferentzy has been studying Gamblers Anonymous since 2002, and was once a pre-doctoral fellow at the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, with Robin Room on his committee. He has published on Gamblers Anonymous as well as the history of addiction. Currently, Dr. Ferentzy is involved with studies addressing pathological gambling and co-morbidity, prison modalities, and gambling among crack users in downtown Toronto. Nigel E. Turner, PhD is a researcher in the field of gambling studies with extensive experience in various quantitative and qualitative research methods such as randomized controlled trials, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and content analysis. He has worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health since 1995. Dr. Turner has conducted several studies of gambling including experimental studies that examined gambling behavior, recall, and learning. He has used computer simulations to systematically examine the experience of various commercial gambling games including roulette, games of skill, slot machines games, and lotteries. In addition, he has conducted research on problem gambling among adult offenders and found very high rates of problem gambling in correctional facilities.

Table of Contents

The history of gambling and its intersection with technology,religion, medical science, and metaphors.- Pathological gambling as an idea: what does it mean?.-Pathological gambling up to the early twentieth century: sins, disease metaphors, and early efforts and medicalization.- Early to middle twentieth century: alcohol, denial, and the need for ascendancy.- The pendulum swings back.-Current situation and future directions.- Concluding discussion​.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"In this remarkable, erudite, and well written book, Peter Ferentzy and Nigel E. Turner perform -- for the first time -- a historical analysis of the idea of "problem gambling," more recently gambling addiction. . . . Modern medical models often overestimate the compulsivity and irreversibility of both substance and behavioral addictions [but] after accompanying Ferentzy and Turner on their survey, readers will realize it is impossible to comprehend the modern psychiatric classification of addictions without making this journey along with them." (Stanton Peele, Ph.D., author of 7 Tools to Beat Addiction; creator of the Life Process Program for addiction treatment)

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