Problem gambling refers to excessive gambling activity and to interpersonal and vocational problems that resulted from gambling. In explaining the causes of problem gambling behavior, the dominant approach nowadays is to treat It as a kind of sickness related to addiction. Hence the term pathological gambling Is coined to describe problem gambling behavior. Such a medical description, however, represents an attempt to understand and explain In medical terms behaviors that violate normative expectation and hence value of society.
It Is argued that by so doing, pathologists are able to hide their value Judgment and to present their viewpoint as an objective truth. In the following paragraphs I will first briefly describe how pathological approach understands and describes problem gambling In terms of the PAP model – the Diagnostic Statistic Manual of the American Psychiatric Association before examining In details common problems found In such conceptualization and classification.
As will be argued In the following paper, the diagnostic criteria of PAP Is not a very good model In conceptually problem ambling behavior when compared with other pathological approaches that are more able to distinguish different aspects of problem gambling behaviors and hence can better avoid the charge of “cloaking the small-town values of conservative reformers in seemingly objective medical terms” Social problems generally refer to phenomena that are not morally accepted by majority of people in the society.
They are either regarded as bad things harming our society, or as activities that violate our expectation on what a good society should be.
The value judgment found in social problem inevitably conflicts with the study of medicine and pathology that are supposed to be scientific and objective As seen in our discussion above As history has demonstrated a close connection between medicine and social behaviors bred eugenic movement and racism – both of them claimed that certain human beings are biologically and hence socially and culturally superior than the others. The claim and the use of pathological explanation must be carefully limited when applying to realm of human social behavior.