Drawing on a broad range of historical and sociological literature, this book traces the everyday gambling experiences of a diverse group of women. It provides fascinating and original insights into the pleasures afforded to women through their gambling participation and draws on a variety of feminist literature to understand women's motivations and experience of play, and to examine the ways in which women negotiate their right to gamble without reprimand. Since gambling tends to be framed within moral discourses of danger and excess, this book offers a defence of women's decisions to gamble against an often hostile backdrop. It rewrites claims that gambling is 'meaningless' and reckless spending, by pointing instead to the highly complex strategies that women who gamble employ. Importantly, it adds to contemporary feminist debates about women's leisure by showing how women seize control of their lives in order to carve out a time and space for the pursuit of pleasure.
Shortlisted for the BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2009 'Cogently argued and fluently written, this fascinating account of the motivations and beliefs of female lottery players situates players’ behaviour in its wider social context. Encompassing important debates about class based and gendered forms of leisure and consumption in contemporary society, this book is about more than just the lottery and will be compelling reading for students and scholars interested in gambling, leisure, popular culture, consumption and feminist studies.' Gerda Reith, University of Glasgow, UK 'This is a fascinating book: theoretically informed, filled with provocative ideas and enlivened with vignettes from female lottery players, which provide a rich and compelling account of the meanings and motivations of women’s gambling behaviour in particular, and leisure behaviour more generally…the book provides a welcome analysis of a neglected social group, namely, female lottery players, and also contributes to the wider field of gambling studies and beyond, drawing on a variety of theoretical perspectives on leisure and consumption…At one point, Casey states: ’This book is a story�, an account of the everyday, classed and gendered lives of the working class women of this sample’ (p. 61). In the best tradition of sociological research, it is exactly that, and it succeeds in telling its story - bringing characters, themes and plot together in an engrossing narrative that deserves a wide readership, in cultural and feminist studies, in sociology, and beyond.' Cultural Sociology
Contents: Introduction to researching women, class and National Lottery participation; Women, gambling, leisure and consumption; Working class women, identity and protest; Domesticated gambling: the National Lottery as 'normal' and 'routine' in the lives of women who play; Caring, class and pleasure; metaphorical leisure spaces and National Lottery play; 'A space to be': physical leisure spaces and National Lottery play; Concluding remarks; Bibliography; Index.