GEOG401: Human Geography (Honours)
Professor Gordon Waitt
Cahill, Hayden, Gambling platforms and sporting masculinities: place, performance and the negotiation of subjectivities,
GEOG401: Human Geography (Honours),
University of Wollongong, 2018.
The gambling industry has moved online through a profusion of sports gambling platforms and young men are a key target market. Sport gambling platforms may be used anywhere and anytime, extending gambling beyond its conventional spatial limits and capitalising on the affordances of the smart device. Yet, little is known about the spaces where sport gambling platforms are used and what they enable young men to achieve. This thesis draws on the related concepts of assemblage, territory, affective atmospheres and subjectivity to offer new understanding of the places where young men use sport gambling platforms and where they usually do not. In doing so, this thesis builds on two strands of literature. First, the longstanding discussion of gambling in social sciences. Geographers have been relatively silent and dominant discourse is shaped by psychology and the public health discipline. Second, and importantly in the context of gambling studies, feminist geographical discussions of masculinity. 13 young men were clinically assessed and deemed to have low and moderate risk gambling behaviour. They accepted an invitation to participate in a mixed-method qualitative research project that combined drawings, diaries, semi-structured interviews and text messages. Interpretation of the data (the everyday experiences of young men who use sport gambling platforms) highlighted the places, performances and the negotiation of identity that unfolds in places. This enabled the men to achieve sporting masculinities and intensify bonds of mateship. The pub, club, footy-trips away and mate’s houses each featured prominently. Interpretation also provided insight on the places were gambling platforms are usually excluded. Exclusion was related to socio-cultural norms of the family home, work and university that expect young men to domesticate and professionalise their masculine subjectivities. Including the sport gambling platform in places where it is usually excluded became a source of guilt.
Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.