Published March 9, 2020
Congratulations to Associate Professor Wooksoo Kim on publishing her article, "Healthy mahjong, little mahjong: social gambling among older Chinese immigrants in the U.S," in International Gambling Studies.
Kim, W. (2019). Healthy mahjong, little mahjong: Social gambling among older Chinese immigrants in the U.S. International Gambling Studies.
Mahjong is considered a popular form of gambling in the Chinese culture, especially among older Chinese populations. However, there is a lack of research on mahjong playing among older Chinese immigrants and its impact on their lives. The current study explored the beliefs and experiences of mahjong through the lens of older Chinese immigrants residing in New York City. A total of 14 participants who played mahjong were included in the analysis. Thematic analysis revealed two major themes: The first theme, healthy mahjong, encompasses the positive roles and meaning of mahjong among older Chinese immigrants as it promotes social engagement and cognitive activity, and eliminates boredom. The second theme, little mahjong, focuses on the attitudes and behaviours used to keep their play under control, through small-scale betting, casual acceptance of winning and losing, and not making it a habit. Negative cases were also included to provide a full illustration of the participants’ views. The findings suggest that, despite a low risk of problem gambling, there may be a need for an intervention in order to increase awareness to prevent health consequences contributed by long periods of time spent sitting to play mahjong.