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From boredom to dependence: The medicalisation of the Swedish gambling problem
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Number of Authors: 2
2016 (English)In: Nordisk Alkohol- og narkotikatidsskrift (NAT), ISSN 1455-0725, E-ISSN 1458-6126, Vol. 33, no 1, 81-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS - The aim of this study is to investigate the medicalising of gambling problems by comparing the political discussions on gambling in the Swedish Parliament in the early 1970s and the early 2010s. DESIGN - Against a theoretical background on medicalising processes in general, and medicalisation of gambling problems in particular, we have analysed discussion protocols and parliamentary bills in the Swedish Parliament from the years 1970-1975 and 2012-2013. RESULTS - The problem descriptions of the 1970s and 2010s are, in certain respects, strikingly similar, identifying proactive operators such as the gambling companies and highlighting an inadequate legal framework. But where the MPs of the 1970s put some effort into describing the drab society which fed the need for gambling, the elected representatives of the 2010s shortcut to individual dependence. CONCLUSIONS - EU membership and the development of the Internet have made effective control and regulation impossible in the early 2010s and the political handling of the Swedish gambling problem is therefore a clear example of how market liberalisation can pave the way for individualisation, medicalisation and depoliticisation of social problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 33, no 1, 81-110 p.
Keyword [en]
gambling problems, gambling policy, Sweden, parliamentary debate, medicalisation, 1970s, 2010s
National Category
Sociology Substance Abuse
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-130990DOI: 10.1515/nsad-2016-0006ISI: 000374897500006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-130990DiVA: diva2:936157
Available from: 2016-06-13 Created: 2016-06-09 Last updated: 2016-06-13Bibliographically approved

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Edman, JohanBerndt, Josefine
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