The Role of Stories in Three Non-12 Step Alcohol Online Support Groups

  • Sally SangerEmail author
  • Peter A. Bath
  • Jo Bates
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10766)


Health-related mutual aid groups provide an important source of information and support for people with a variety of illnesses and health problems. Research has demonstrated the important role of story-telling for people in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) face-to-face meetings, for example, in informing new members about the organization’s beliefs about alcoholism. There has been limited research examining the role that story plays in online AA, and even less research on story in non-AA/non-12 step groups. This paper explores the role of stories in three alcohol online support groups (AOSGs) that do not follow the 12-step philosophy, but offer very different beliefs about problem drinking and approaches to managing it. The paper reports on thematic analysis of the three groups’ discussion forum messages, from which the role that story plays in the groups is identified. It is part of a wider study of the role discussion forums of AOSGs can play in informing users’ ‘representations’ or beliefs about alcoholism/problem drinking.


Online support groups Alcohol Story Narrative Mutual aid 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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