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The Racing Game

Marvin Scott Jaime Suchlicki



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30 September 2005
Cultural studies; Social & cultural anthropology; Horse racing
This study of a unique social world probes beneath the thrill and spectacle of horse racing into the lives of the honest boys, the gyps, the manipulators, the stoops, and the Chalk eaters --the constituents of race track society and the players of the racing game. With scientific precision and journalistic vigor, Scott describes the everyday activities--the objectives and strategies--of those whose lives are organized around track proceedings and who compete with chance and one another.

The players in the racing game range from track owners to stable boys, from law enforcers to lawbreakers, and from casual sportsmen to pathologically addicted gamblers. Considering the self-interests, the normative and operational codes, and the interactional relationships among the major types and subtypes of participants, the author defines the components of strategic movement within the framework of rules and resources to show how a player's relations to the means of production governs his behavior.

The fruitful application of sociological theory and method to an unusually interesting social context makes this particularly useful still for courses in social problems and the sociology of organizations and of leisure.
By:   Marvin Scott
Introduction by:   Jaime Suchlicki
Imprint:   Headline
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 13mm
Weight:   204g
ISBN:   9780202308098
ISBN 10:   020230809X
Publication Date:   30 September 2005
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  A / AS level ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for The Racing Game

...when he was teaching at Berkeley, Goffman asked me to come to his seminar to hear a student, Marvin Scott, present his research on horse the course of his presentation, Scott suggested in passing that gamblers, including horse players, sometimes had 'winning streaks' or 'losing streaks.' Goffman, who had been listening appreciatively until that point, interrupted to say that of course Scott meant that they thought they had such streaks of good or bad luck. But Scott said no, these were observable 'facts.' Goffman, unwilling to accept such supernatural talk, persisted, appealing to the laws of probability to assure Scott that such 'streaks' were natural occurrences in any long run of tries in such a game as blackjack or craps. - Howard Becker

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