'A place for men to come and do their thing': constructing masculinities in betting shops in London.

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2013. 'A place for men to come and do their thing': constructing masculinities in betting shops in London. British Journal of Sociology, 65(1), pp. 170-191. ISSN 0007-1315 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

During fieldwork in betting shops in London research participants consistently conceptualised betting shops as masculine spaces in contrast to the femininity of other places including home and the bingo hall. According to this argument, betting on horses and dogs was ‘men’s business’ and betting shops were ‘men’s worlds’. Two explanations were offered to account for this situation. The first suggested that betting was traditionally a pastime enjoyed by men rather than women. The second was that betting is intrinsically more appealing to men because it is based on calculation and measurement, and women prefer more intuitive, simpler challenges. This article uses interviews with regular customers and the experience of training and working as a cashier betting shops in London to reflect on the processes whereby certain kinds of gendered performances are rewarded at the same time as alternatives are suppressed. The article shows how particular spaces may become gendered as an unanticipated consequence of legislation and how contingent gendered associations are both naturalised and, at the same time, subjected to intense attention.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Research Office > REF2014


29 October 2013Published

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Date Deposited:

25 Oct 2013 09:17

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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