Professor Rebecca Cassidy

Staff details

Position Professor
Department Anthropology
Email r.cassidy (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7802
Professor Rebecca Cassidy

Rebecca came to Goldsmiths in 2001 and continues to develop her interests in both horse centered societies and also the productive life of risk, gambling, betting and money.

Academic qualifications

Rebecca studied Anthropology at Cambridge University before heading to Edinburgh University where she wrote her PhD thesis about the thoroughbred racing industry in Newmarket. A British Academy postdoctoral fellowship enabled her to conduct additional research into thoroughbred racing in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky.

Between 2010 and 2015, she was the principal investigator of GAMSOC, a European Research Council funded project which used ethnography to investigate the expansion of commercial gambling.


Rebecca teaches a range of modules in the department.

Research Interests

Rebecca works on gambling and horse racing, human animal relations, the politics and ethics of gambling research, class, kinship, gender, risk, and money.

In 2002, she began work on a comparative study of the British and North American thoroughbred breeding and racing industries, conducting fieldwork in Newmarket, England, and in the Bluegrass of Kentucky, focusing on kinship, gender and class. Her monograph about Newmarket, Sport of Kings, was published in 2002. A second monograph Horse People, based on her fieldwork in Kentucky, was published in 2007.

This project was part of a broader interest in people’s relationships with their environment, including plants and animals. In 2004, Rebecca and Molly Mullin organised a Wenner Gren international symposium on the future of the concept of domestication within anthropology. The symposium, held in Tucson in 2005, involved anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists, biological anthropologists and historians from New Zealand, Australia, Norway, the United States and the United Kingdom. The resulting edited collection was published by Berg in 2007. In 2006, she embarked upon an Isaac Newton Trust supported project with Dr Mim Bower of the McDonald Institute of Cambridge University, combining ethnographic and DNA data in order to explore horse domestication in central Asia. She continues to be interested in questions about lives with animals, and wrote an article about climate change and human animal relations in 2012 for the Annual Review of Anthropology. In 2019, she created, with Professor Garry Marvin (Roehampton), a new book series with Routledge called Multispecies Anthropology: New Ethnographies.

MANE focuses exclusively on monographs which are based on first-hand, sustained, ethnographic fieldwork: an approach which allows for the exploration of the intricacies and immediacies of lives with other animals. It brings together detailed accounts of how humans experience, engage with, live with, other animals, but also with plants and other living matter, generated within particular social and cultural worlds as they are captured by fieldwork. This format enables authors to pursue some of the most important questions about our lives with others – and the role that anthropology might play in our futures together. Please get in touch if you have a suitable manuscript which you would like to be considered for publication as part of this exciting series.

As well as human animal relations, Rebecca has a strong interest in gambling. Between 2006 and 2009, she ran a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Responsibility in Gambling Trust, exploring the everyday lives of gamblers. Her fieldwork was based in betting shops in London where she spoke with punters and betting shop workers about the betting shop environment, licensing, legislation, and the social history of the gambling industry. This relates to her more general interests in money, stakes, risk, luck, work, deregulation, machines and numbers.

Between 2010 and 2015, Rebecca was Principle Investigator of a project about gambling which was funded by the European Research Council (GAMSOC). She headed up a team of four researchers interested in how gambling might be studied in a way that preserves its cultural and historical variation. In 2013, the team published an edited collection Qualitative Research in Gambling: exploring the production and consumption of risk(edited with C. Loussouarn and A.Pisac).

The GAMSOC team also produced an open access report describing the production of gambling research Download the Fair Game Report (PDF Download).

Since the publication of Fair Game, Rebecca has become increasingly interested in using qualitative methods to explore the expansion of commercial gambling and its affinity with capitalism. She has conducted fieldwork in London, Macau, Las Vegas, Gibraltar and at gambling industry conferences. She continues to explore the field of gambling research including the impact of funding, restrictions on academic freedoms and conflicts of interest. In 2018 she and Dr Francis Markham of ANU produced a code of ethics for gambling researchers which was adopted by members of the International Think Tank on Gambling.




Cassidy, Rebecca and Mullin, M.. 2007. Where the wild things are now: Domestication reconsidered. Berg. ISBN 1845201531

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Horse People: thoroughbred culture in Lexington and Newmarket. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801887038

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2002. Sport of Kings: kinship, class and thoroughbred breeding in Newmarket. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052100487X

Edited Book

Cassidy, Rebecca; Loussouarn, Claire and Pisac, Andrea, eds. 2013. Qualitative Research in Gambling: exploring the production and consumption of risk. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-65938-3

Cassidy, Rebecca, ed. 2013. Cambridge Companion to Horseracing. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107618367

Book Section

Cassidy, Rebecca and Hawkins, Ben. 2017. Interviewing key informants from the corporate sector. In: Kelley Lee and Benjamin Hawkins, eds. Researching Corporations and Global Health Governance: An Interdisciplinary Guide. London; New York: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 127-138. ISBN 9781783483600

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2016. How Corporations Shape our Understanding of Problems with Gambling and their Solutions. In: Nora Kenworthy; Ross MacKenzie and Kelley Lee, eds. Case Studies on Corporations and Global Health Governance Impacts, Influence and Accountability. Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 9781783483570

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2013. Partial Convergence: Social Gaming and Real Money Gambling. In: Rebecca Cassidy; Claire Loussouarn and Andrea Pisac, eds. Qualitative Research in Gambling Exploring the Production and Consumption of Risk. London: Routledge, pp. 74-91. ISBN 978-0-415-65938-3

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2013. Against the Odds A Professional Gambler’s Narrative of Achievement. In: , ed. The social life of achievement. Oxford: Berghahn, pp. 43-60. ISBN 978-1-78238-220-1

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2013. Introduction to Cambridge Companion to Horseracing. In: , ed. Cambridge Companion to Horseracing. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781107618367

Pisac, Andrea. 2013. ‘Croupiers’ sleight of mind: playing with unmanaged ‘spaces’ in the casino industry’. In: Andrea Pisac; Rebecca Cassidy and Claire Loussouarn, eds. Qualitative Research in Gambling: Exploring the Production and Consumption of Risk. London & NY: Routledge, pp. 59-73. ISBN 978-0415659383

Pisac, Andrea. 2013. Introduction. In: Andrea Pisac; Rebecca Cassidy and Claire Loussouarn, eds. Qualitative Research in Gambling: Exploring the Production and Consumption of Risk. London & NY: Routledge, pp. 1-11. ISBN 978-0415659383

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. 'Aborescent culture: writing and not writing racehorse pedigrees' in Kinship and Beyond: The Genealogical Model Reconsidered. Sandra Bamford and James Leach, eds. 2009. Berghahn Books, New York. In: Sandra Bamford and James Leach, eds. Kinship and Beyond: The Genealogical Model Reconsidered. 15 New York: Berghahn, pp. 24-49. ISBN 1845458966

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. 'Zoophilia reconsidered’ (Chapter 5. Zoosex and Other Relationships with Animals). In: Hastings Donnan and Fiona Magowan, eds. Transgressive sex. 13 Oxford: Berghahn Press. ISBN 978-1-84545-539-2

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. Zoosex and other relationships with animals. In: Hastings Donnan and Fiona Magowan, eds. Transgressive Sex: subversion and control in erotic encounters. 13 Oxford and New York: Berghahn, pp. 91-112. ISBN 978-1-84545-539-2

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. ‘Symbols and symbolism: animal’. In: John Middleton and Joseph C Miller, eds. New Encyclopaedia of Africa. Charles Scribner’s Sons. ISBN 978-0684314549

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. 'Le pur-sang dans la course, de Newmarket au Kentucky'. In: Daniel Roche; Daniel Reytier; Nicole de Blomac and Michel Constantini, eds. A cheval! Ecuyer, amazons & cavaliers. Association pour l'academie d'art equestre de Versailles. ISBN 978-2913018037


Djohari, Natalie; Weston, Gavin; Cassidy, Rebecca; Wemyss, Martyn and Thomas, Samantha. 2019. Recall and awareness of gambling advertising and sponsorship in sport in the UK: a study of young people and adults. Harm Reduction Journal, 16(24), pp. 1-12.

McCarthy, Simone; Thomas, Samantha L.; Bellringer, Maria E. and Cassidy, Rebecca. 2019. Women and gambling-related harm: a narrative literature review and implications for research, policy, and practice. Harm Reduction Journal, 16(18),

Thomas, Samantha L.; Bestman, Amy; Pitt, Hannah; Cassidy, Rebecca; McCarthy, Simone; Nyemcsok, Christian; Cowlishaw, Sean and Daube, Mike. 2018. Young people’s awareness of the timing and placement of gambling advertising on traditional and social media platforms: a study of 11–16-year-olds in Australia. Harm Reduction Journal, 15(51), ISSN 1477-7517

Knai, C; Petticrew, M; Mays, N; Capewell, S; Cassidy, Rebecca; Cummins, S; Eastmure, E; Fafard, P; Hawkins, B and Jensen, J. 2018. Systems thinking as a framework for analysing commercial determinants of health. Milbank Quarterly, 96(3), pp. 472-498. ISSN 0887-378X,

Petticrew, M; Katikireddi, SV; Knai, C; Cassidy, R; Hessari, NM; Thomas, J and Weishaar, H. 2017. ‘Nothing can be done until everything is done’: the use of complexity arguments by food, beverage, alcohol and gambling industries. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 71, pp. 1078-1083. ISSN 0143-005X

Cassidy, Rebecca; Adams, Peter; Livingstone, Charles; Markham, Francis; Reith, Gerda; Rintoul, Angela; Schull, Natasha; Woolley, Richard and Young, Martin. 2017. On gambling research, social science, and the consequences of commercial gambling. International Gambling Studies, ISSN 1445-9795

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2014. Afterword: Manufacturing Gambling. Oceania, 84(3), pp. 306-314. ISSN 1834-4461

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2014. Fair game? Producing and publishing gambling research. International Gambling Studies, 14(3), pp. 345-353. ISSN 1445-9795

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

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2012. Horse versus machine: battles in the betting shop. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 18(2), pp. 266-284. ISSN 1359-0987

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2012. Lives With Others: Climate Change and Human-Animal Relations. Annual Review of Anthropology, 41(1), pp. 21-36. ISSN 0084-6570

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2010. Gambling as exchange: horserace betting in London. International Gambling Studies, 10(2), pp. 139-149. ISSN 1445-9795

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. ‘Casino capitalism’ and the financial crisis. Anthropology Today, 25(4), pp. 10-13. ISSN 0268540X

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. An anthropologist in the bookies. Newsletter of the Society for the Study of Gambling, 43,

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. The horse, the Kyrgyz horse and the ‘Kyrgyz horse'. Anthropology Today, 25(1), pp. 12-15. ISSN 0268540X

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. 'Rethinking Cruelty'. Review of Just a Dog: understanding animal cruelty and ourselves, Arnold Arluke. Current Anthropology, 49(4), pp. 757-758. ISSN 00113204

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. Dolly mixtures: the remaking of genealogy – By Sarah Franklin. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 14(1), pp. 227-228.

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. Review of The Animals Reader: the essential classic and contemporary writings. Anthrozoos, 21, ISSN 0892-7936

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Blood "Bon sang me saurait mentir". Reproduction d'hommes et de chevaux Newmarket. Ethnologie Française, 37(2), pp. 233-242. ISSN 00462616

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Book Review: 'Gambling and survival in native North America' by Paul Pasquaretta. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13(3), pp. 753-754. ISSN 1359-0987

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Review of Gambling and survival in native North America, Paul Pasquaretta. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13(3), pp. 753-754.

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Zoosex. Stimulus Respond: for the urban anthropologist, 18, 083-092.

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2006. Book Review: 'I Want to Know about the Dogs'. Theory, Culture & Society, 23(7-8), pp. 324-328. ISSN 0263-2764

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2005. ‘Falling in love with horses: the international thoroughbred auction’. Society and Animals, 13(1), pp. 51-68. ISSN 1063-1119

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2004. ‘Where is racing going?’. National Equine Student, 1, pp. 16-19.

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2003. ‘Turf Wars: Arab dimensions to British racehorse breeding’. Anthropology Today, 19(3), pp. 13-18.

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2002. The Social Practice of Racehorse Breeding. Society and Animals, 10(2), pp. 155-171. ISSN 1063-1119

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2001. ‘On the human-animal boundary’. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 14(4), pp. 194-203. ISSN 0892-7936

Cassidy, Rebecca. 2000. Are all men equal on the turf and under it?’. Newsletter for the Society for the Study of Gambling, 34, pp. 13-20.


Cassidy, Rebecca and Ovenden, Niko. 2017. Frequency, duration and medium of advertisements for gambling and other risky products in commercial and public service broadcasts of English Premier League football.. Working Paper. UNSPECIFIED, SocArXiv.

Cassidy, Rebecca; Loussouarn, Claire and Pisac, Andrea. 2014. Fair Game: producing gambling research. Project Report. European Research Council, Goldsmiths University of London.

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