Gender and consumption: Domestic cultures and the commercialisation of everyday life

Abstract

Aim: Examine National Lottery play as it is understood as an ordinary, everyday and mundane consumer activity, with a particular focus on class and moral economies. Offer methodological advances in what currently stands for 'gambling studies,' which have focused predominantly on gambling as a dangerous form of addiction.

Method: Analyse fifteen in-depth interviews with working-class, low-income women from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and south east London; review debates and social commentary on the National Lottery from the press; and analyse data from a survey of 100 women on Lottery play.

Findings: Public debates of focused on the potential harm of gambling on the vulnerable poor. However, consumption of National Lottery tickets has become integrated into the everyday routines of the family and is seen as distinct from participating in other forms of gambling.

Conclusion: The findings challenge the position of gambling as inconsistent with domestic family life, with 'respectable' femininity, and with the values of a society which seeks to protect its 'weak,' 'poor' and 'vulnerable.'

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