Twelve Step Programs: A Contemporary American Quest for Meaning and Spiritual Renewal

Twelve Step Programs: A Contemporary American Quest for Meaning and Spiritual Renewal

by Ann Marie Minnick


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Twelve Step Programs are significant features in the American landscape. Their popularity compels us to take them seriously. This book studies one such program, Al-Anon, which was founded in 1951 by wives of alcoholics who were struggling with the effects of alcoholism on themselves and their families. In the 1990s its scope was broadened to include husbands, grown children, lovers, friends, and anyone else affected by another's drinking or chemical use. This study used an ethnographic approach: it reveals that Al-Anon and similar groups act as sites of spiritual renewal and moral reconstruction for primarily white, middle-class, middle-aged, Protestant Americans who report experiencing a crisis of identity. Investigating Twelve Step Programs lends further insight into the cultural crisis affecting many Americans as well as the strategies some have found to make sense of their lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275958503
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/30/1997
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

ANN MARIE MINNICK is currently the director of Academic and Student Affairs at James Madison College in Michigan. She teaches in the areas of American culture, career development, and writing.

Table of Contents

Framing the Crisis and the Quest

Alcoholics Anonymous: Origins and Development

Al-Anon: Origins and Underpinnings

Al-Anon Literature and Current Member Understandings of the Program

Identity and Al-Anon: Reconstructing a Spiritual and Moral Self in an Uncertain World

Al-Anon and the Wider Context: Religion and Society in the Post-WWII Era

Self-Help, Recovery, and the Creation of a Twelve Step Movement

Appendix A: The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Al-Anon

Appendix B: The Twelve Concepts of Al-Anon

Appendix C: Suggested Al-Anon Welcome

Appendix D: Suggested Al-Anon Preamble to the Twelve Steps

Appendix E: Suggested Al-Anon Closing

Appendix F: 1989 Interview Questions

Appendix G: Demographic Data

Appendix H: Al-Anon Literature



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