Playing the lottery: Social action, social networks and accounts of motive
AuthorAdams, Douglas James, 1957-
AdvisorSnow, David A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe game of LOTTO is the most common form of lottery participation in the U.S. Participation in LOTTO requires the purchase of a six-number lottery ticket. Individuals are allowed to select their ticket numbers, or they are assigned a randomly selected set of numbers. However, regardless of their historical persistence and geographic availability, lotteries continue to generate significant criticism and concern. Two issues dominate most public policy debate. Who plays the lottery, and why do they play? Traditionally, these questions are addressed using individualist models of social action. Such models assume that psychological internal states, such as attitudes, beliefs and processes of rationality are the primary mechanisms that facilitate participation. In contrast, structural models of social action suggest that networks of social relations, and the information and resources that flow through such relations are the primary mechanisms that facilitate participation. Using self-report survey data obtained from 245 randomly selected adults, as well as ethnographic data, I operationalize individualist and social network models, and examine two central issues: who participates in lotteries, and why do they participate. Three findings are particularly noteworthy. First, the empirically measured psychological internal states that many individual's possess about lottery participation appear inconsistent with several assumptions of the individualist model. Second, lottery participation appears to build solidarity between many participants and the members of their primary network of social relations through discussions about winning. Third, for most people the attraction of participation appears to be affective in nature rather than economic. Thus, lottery participation induces a state of positive anticipation. Further, the socially organized process that individual's initiate in order to induce this affective state is similar to, but quite different than the process of "emotion work." Thus, I label this process "emotion play."
Degree ProgramGraduate College