How Luhmann’s systems theory can inform gambling studies

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Egerer , M , Marionneau , V & Virtanen , M J 2020 , ' How Luhmann’s systems theory can inform gambling studies ' , Critical Gambling Studies , vol. 1 , no. 1 , pp. 12-22 . https://doi.org/10.29173/cgs39

Title: How Luhmann’s systems theory can inform gambling studies
Author: Egerer, Michael; Marionneau, Virve; Virtanen, Mikko J.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance
University of Helsinki, Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance
University of Helsinki, Tampere University
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Critical Gambling Studies
ISSN: 2563-190X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/317305
Abstract: Gambling and problem gambling studies tend to be characterised by individual-based approaches both theoretically and methodologically, while sociological approaches remain underutilised or even marginal. In this study, we discuss the potential of Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory in the analysis of gambling. As opposed to positivist or individualistic approaches, Luhmann’s work is strongly constructivist: neither systems nor their components are seen to be made up of individuals. Using systems theory in informing gambling research distances the research interests from individuals and directs it towards societal mechanisms, structures, and processes. Therefore, a systems theoretical approach can offer novel tools to study gambling, but also the paradigm of gambling research itself. This paper demonstrates how systems theory can critically inform gambling research through five operationalisations: gambling as a system, the gambling experience, the regulation of gambling economies, gambling providers as organisations, and systems theory as a methodological program. These five operationalisations can serve as an important window to widen perspectives on gambling.
Subject: 5141 Sociology
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