Legitimacy and the Cultural Diffusion of Casino Gambling, 1976-2006

This paper will examine the legitimation of consumption practices using the case of casino gambling. While previous work on legitimation has focused on direct company-to-consumer legitimation, I show how the process of legitimation is mediated through institutional structures such as newspapers. By analyzing newspaper coverage of casino industry expansion over thirty years, I find four semantic concepts—purity, filth, wealth, and poverty—that orient discourse about casino gambling and are mobilized as resources to argue for the legitimation or delegitimation of casino gambling. Further, I explore the ways in which these concepts are linked by narrative structures and become synthesized as structural change occurs in political and commercial institutions. Conceptually, these semantic networks are important because they unite multiple levels of analysis, from individual conceptualizations of casino gambling to social and regulatory structures such as behavioral norms and state laws. Understanding these multiple levels can enrich our understanding of structural influences on consumer behavior.


Ashlee Humphreys (2009) ,"Legitimacy and the Cultural Diffusion of Casino Gambling, 1976-2006", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 135-138.


Ashlee Humphreys, Northwestern University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Turning “Expenses” into “Bills”: How spending Categorization Impacts Budget Optimism and Likelihood of Success

Eleanor Putnam-Farr, Rice University, USA
Anastasiya Pocheptsova Ghosh, University of Arizona, USA

Read More


Is All That Glitters Gold? The Effect of Product Surface Glossiness on Consumer Judgments

Jiaqi SONG, Hong Kong Polytechic University
Yuwei Jiang, Hong Kong Polytechic University
Gerald J. Gorn, Hong Kong Polytechic University

Read More


Morality Matters in the Marketplace: The Influence of Morally Based Attitudes on Consumer Purchase Intentions

Andrew Luttrell, Ball State University
Jacob Teeny, Ohio State University, USA
Richard Petty, Ohio State University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.