Alcoholism

Illness or Disease?
  • Noel J. Chrisman

Abstract

Alcoholism is a major health problem in the United States that affects most families in some way and vexes most health practitioners. In addition, it is a moral and spiritual problem, stimulating concern and outcry from the nation’s pulpits. And finally, it is the source of numerous intra- and interpersonal troubles for people, people who wonder what the problem is. As illustrated in Chapter 1, what alcoholism “is” has been the subject of heated debate. My contribution to this book is designed to explicate some of the cultural issues involved in this debate, particularly those having to do with the status of alcoholism as a disease. My approach will be to explore the relevance of the illness-disease distinction to an understanding of alcoholism.

Keywords

Explanatory Model Illness Behavior Alcoholic Anonymous Medical Anthropology Sick Role 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noel J. Chrisman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community Health Care Systems, School of NursingUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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