How has gambling become normalised in New Zealand?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
This study investigated the normalisation of gambling within the New Zealand context to explore whether an ausugenic environment exists, using qualitative interviews in combination with a self-ethnography. An ausugenic environment is one where gambling has become embedded in the cultural attitudes and behaviour of a society to the extent that it is no longer considered to be an abnormal or noteworthy activity.
In order to investigate this two phases of qualitative interviews were conducted with the first being with members of the public who were also asked to record a diary of gambling related things they noticed over the course of a weekend. To better understand the results for diary participant responses, the researcher underwent the same diary keeping process during the same weekend while also revisiting locations described by the participants to validate their reports. The second phase involved interviews with counsellors from the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand to explore their attitudes towards gambling and experiences that their clients who were most affected by gambling in New Zealand. The outcomes of this research were two conceptual models that propose how individuals normalise gambling behaviour personally as well as how society both creates and perpetuates an ausugenic environment.
This study also discusses the concept of environmental normalisation as a development upon advertising wearout theory. It suggests that individuals may become blind to attitudes and stimuli within their environment after prolonged periods of exposure through many different sources. The idea that this may be not simply something that advertisers seek to avoid as is classically thought, but implemented as a deliberate strategy for organisations seeking to gain wide acceptance of their product or service is also proposed.
The study ten seeks to make significant contributions towards the betterment of society through use of the findings to recommend policy alterations the New Zealand Government should implement and suggest alternative ways that the treatment of problem gambling is addressed in future.