Balancing acts: Gambling-machine addiction and the double bind of therapeutics

Abstract

This chapter explores how gambling addicts' therapeutic projects are complicated by the fact that "zeroing oneself out" also characterizes the zone of their machine play. Although the project of recovery would appear to be an instantiation of actuarial selfhood while the zone would appear to be a rejection of it, gamblers describe both as states of dynamic equilibrium that they maintain through constant acts of self-modulation the micro techniques of the recovering subject, like those of the practicing addict, work to quell perturbations in the system and "zero out" excess affect. This likeness undermines the divide between the two and implicates each in the other: As author show, the "balancing act" of addiction recovery rehearses the very escape mechanisms it is meant to overcome. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA)

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