Juxtaposing identities as a symbolic resource: Social and problem gamblers in Singapore's problem gambling campaign

Ray C.H. Leung, Kenneth C.C. Kong

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study of gambling discourse focuses on how the governing party in Singapore makes use of the discursively constructed juxtaposing identities of social and problem gamblers as a symbolic resource for reaching its objective of public governance. To this end, the present article studies four gamblers' spoken testimonials recorded for a campaign launched by the Singapore National Council on Problem Gambling. The data were analyzed in relation to process types, appraisal resources, and code choice. It is found that via different linguistic means, the gamblers, as represented in the discourse, perform a range of identities, thereby foregrounding specific aspects of their self. Examples include the social gamblers' frequent use of relational processes to offer descriptive statements on the definition of gambling and the problem gamblers' self-evaluation of unethical behavior associated with gambling through intensive use of social sanction judgment markers. The results lead to the conclusion that the juxtaposition of the identities between social and problem gamblers is used symbolically by the government to construct the stigmatized identity of "problematic gamblers" so as to monitor its citizens' demeanor in the midst of legitimizing casino gambling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-51
Number of pages27
JournalText and Talk
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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Keywords

  • Appraisal theory
  • Code choice
  • Gambling discourse
  • Public governance
  • Stigmatized identity
  • Transitivity analysis

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