Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"In the Rooms of AA": Community and Identity Construction in the Language of Alcoholics Anonymous
by Jones, Alice Carey, Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2014, 203; 3711650
Abstract (Summary)

The overall goal of the dissertation, "`In the Rooms of AA': Community and Identity Construction in the Language of Alcoholics Anonymous," is to determine which aspects of language contribute to the composition of a specific discourse community. By examining several different genres of the institutional discourse of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), I explore the ways that communities consisting of speakers from a wide range of socioeconomic, racial, and educational backgrounds come to share the same cultural and ideological platform as they adopt a specialized language like that of AA in pursuit of a common goal (in this case, the cessation of alcoholic drinking). Along with the acquisition of that specialized language comes a renegotiation of social reality based on the interactional context of language use. My research mainly focuses on intertextual relationships between the "Big Book," which is the seminal text Alcoholics Anonymous, and various other text-types that are created by AA members. The language of this master narrative text is socially mediated within the community of speakers and then resurfaces in individual members' recovery narratives. Members use the language of the "Big Book" not only to create their own recovery narratives to share with other members, which is integral to practicing the AA program, but they also appropriate the language to build their individual identities as a part of the collective whole of the AA culture.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rice, Charles C.
Commitee: Dorwick, Keith, Honegger, Mark, McDonald, James C.
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Rhetoric
Keywords: Alcoholics Anonymous, Conceptual metphor, Critical discourse analysis
Publication Number: 3711650
ISBN: 978-1-321-87985-8
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