Getting on the Program

A Biocultural Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Miriam B. Rodin


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a large, well-known self-help organization. A coherent set of beliefs forms the core of what AA members call “The Program.” These beliefs offer alcoholics a path to recovery. My purpose here is to examine the convergence of two aspects of recovery from alcoholism. The first aspect is the process by which alcoholics begin to restructure their identities and reinterpret their experiences in terms of the AA ideology. The second aspect is the physiological event occurring during the early stages of sobriety, when most AA members first come to the organization. My approach will be to show how the AA meeting constitutes a dramatic performance that is tailored to the biological state of alcoholics in early recovery.


Religious Sect Developmental Disa Alcoholic Anonymous Cultural Milieu Rhetorical Strategy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam B. Rodin
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of Illinois Health Sciences CenterChicagoUSA

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