Everyone Is NOT Doing It: Abstinence and Personal Identity / Edition 1

Everyone Is NOT Doing It: Abstinence and Personal Identity / Edition 1

by Jamie L. Mullaney
     
 


Labels like vegan, virgin, or nonsmoker get thrown around to identify forms of abstinence, but for many abstainers such labels are also proud declarations of who they are. Setting aside the moral debates and psychological assessments surrounding abstinence, Jamie Mullaney asks why the act of not doing something plays such a crucial role in theSee more details below

Overview


Labels like vegan, virgin, or nonsmoker get thrown around to identify forms of abstinence, but for many abstainers such labels are also proud declarations of who they are. Setting aside the moral debates and psychological assessments surrounding abstinence, Jamie Mullaney asks why the act of not doing something plays such a crucial role in the formation of our personal identities.
Based on interviews with individuals who abstain from habits as diverse as sex, cigarettes, sugar, and technology, Everyone Is NOT Doing It identifies four different types of abstainers: quitters; those who have never done something and never will; those who haven't done something yet, but might in the future; and those who are not doing something temporarily. Mullaney assesses the commonalities that bind abstainers, as well as how perceptions of abstinence change according to social context, age, and historical era. In contrast to such earlier forms of abstinence as social protest, entertainment, or an instrument of social stratification, not doing something now, argues Mullaney, gives people a more secure sense of self by offering a more affordable and manageable identity in a world of ever-expanding options.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226547572
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
12/15/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
1,528,355
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Jamie L. Mullaney is assistant professor of sociology at Goucher College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I: The Social Shape of Abstinence
One / Seeing Not-Doing: Time, Place, and Language
Two / Historical Frames of Abstinence
Three / Contemporary Abstainers
Four / "You Gotta Run the Whole Tape": Pathways to Abstinence
Part II: Doing Not-Doing
Five / Determining What Counts: Abstinence Thresholds
Six / Fire Walking
Seven / Fence Building
Eight / Negotiating Abstinence Strategies
Nine / Verbal Performances of Abstinence
Conclusion
Appendixes
Notes
References
Index

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