The value of anthropological gambling research is discussed in a forum in the journal Suomen Antropologi (2011, vol. 36, no. 1). The issue was published this spring but came to my attention only a few days ago. The forum contains short articles by five Finnish scholars. It is an excellent introduction to how anthropologists can think about gambling.
Pauliina Raento, research director at the Finnish Foundation for Gaming Research, introduces the topic. She writes that “The time is ripe for anthropologists to take a fresh look at gambling.” Pauliina also makes the good observation that: “A closer look at gambling can also expand anthropology’s interdisciplinary horizons. Many outsiders perceive anthropology as an insular discipline which fails to use its full potential.”
The four other contributions to the forum deal with online poker, immigrant gambling in Finland, the social rewards of gambling, and gambling and consumption. The short articles give an idea of the novel and interesting perspectives offered by anthropological research into these aspects of gambling.
Suomen Antropologi is the journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society. it is available online with EBSCO Academic Search Complete.