Marco Pedroni

The «banker» state and the «responsible» enterprises. Capital conversion strategies in the field of public legal gambling

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Legal Gambling; Field Theory; Capital Conversion; Pierre Bourdieu; State/Market Alliance.

This essay examines public legal gambling in Italy since the mid-twentieth century from a field perspective based on Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical framework. Gambling is explored as a social arena where several players fight and/or cooperate for a stake which is the control over the field itself. The argument is that gambling concessionaires and the state are involved in capital conversion projects where the former try to convert their economic resources into symbolic capital through a strategy based on corporate social responsibility, and the latter turns political capital into fiscal revenue. Both projects must deal with increasing external pressures applied by the media and (both lay and Catholic) non-profit organizations - agents which in recent years have intensified their battle against the excesses of the gambling industry. The distinctive feature of the Italian case is the soaring level of symbolic capital that non-public enterprises have accumulated, thereby challenging the «natural» equilibrium between a dominant and monopolist state and dominated private companies. The article provides an overview of gambling studies, traces a concise history of the field in Republican Italy and then focuses on the autonomy of the field, an «invariant property» together with struggle, internal hierarchy, and field preservation. The production of a gambling-oriented subjectivity in the neoliberal framework is also discussed. Finally the essay proposes an agenda of further issues to be explored by gambling studies.

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat

Article first page

Article first page