An alcoholic forever? A critical discourse analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous construction of identity development in addiction recovery
Jordan, Cassandra Susanne
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SubjectAddiction Recovery; Alcoholics Anonymous; Critical Discourse Analysis; Discourse; Identity; Language
Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) largely dictates the treatment of alcohol addiction in the United States and Canada. This exclusivity for treating alcohol-related health issues has created problems among individuals who struggle with A.A.’s methods. This Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of A.A. texts and member accounts identifies ideological discourses that reflect cultural values and expectations of alcohol consumption. These discourses prescribe how individuals who are reducing alcohol use must behave in order to live successfully. Such behaviours include developing a religious practice, behaving in culturally appropriate ways, abstaining from alcohol, and encouraging other “alcoholics” to adopt their lifestyle. This analysis explores the implications of such identity constructions for individuals seeking to manage alcohol-related health issues.
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