Three Biographical Case Studies in Alcoholics Anonymous
Keywords:spirituality, addiction, recovery, twelve step, non-religion
Recent studies in the sociology of religion have shown that religion and spirituality are related yet distinct concepts which impact social life in a variety of ways. Since its founding in 1935, the popular program known as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has offered an approach to addiction recovery that manifestly adopts spirituality as a means to sobriety while at the same time eschewing certain organized religious beliefs. This paper seeks to understand how participants perceive spirituality to be integral to addiction recovery as featured through three biographical case studies of unrelated AA members living in different cities in the United States. While the particularities of these three case studies should not be taken as representative of the AA population since they are tied to specific contexts, the similarities of their stories and the emphasis each respondent places on spirituality should prompt researchers to consider the evident connection between spirituality and recovery through AA participation. Suggestions for future research studies and the implications of these results will be discussed.
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