Intimacy and Power

The previous chapter surveyed the general ways in which fragmenting asymmetries evolve in addictive systems, but the observation that these asymmetries occur does not explain how they are achieved. Attention now shifts to the processes and techniques that make these asymmetries possible. The passage above describes a critical point in Huckleberry Finn where Huck’s father (Pap), who is in an addictive relationship to alcohol, attempts to kill Huck. Huck responds by leaving town to pursue his life on the river. While this level of physical violence does not occur within every addictive system, abuse and other forms of controlling behavior are commonplace. Such controlling tactics vary in degree—from slaps to fatal stabbings—and in kind—from verbal threats to ongoing surveillance. What is common to all these strategies is that they involve an attempt of one person in a relationship to impose a level of power over the other person.


Violent Behavior Work Colleague Controlling Tactic Male Violence Disinhibiting Effect 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

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