Storytelling in Alcoholics Anonymous: A Rhetorical Analysis

Overview

Based on an ethnographic study spanning four years, George H. Jensen’s Storytelling in Alcoholics Anonymous: A Rhetorical Analysis calls upon Bakhtinian theory to analyze storytelling in AA.

            

Jensen introduces his study with an analysis of “Bill W.’s Story” as it appears in the first chapter of AA’s central text, Alcoholics Anonymous. Drawing on Walter Ong’s work on orality and literacy, he argues that “Bill...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $34.73   
  • New (4) from $36.65   
  • Used (1) from $34.73   
Sending request ...

Overview

Based on an ethnographic study spanning four years, George H. Jensen’s Storytelling in Alcoholics Anonymous: A Rhetorical Analysis calls upon Bakhtinian theory to analyze storytelling in AA.

            

Jensen introduces his study with an analysis of “Bill W.’s Story” as it appears in the first chapter of AA’s central text, Alcoholics Anonymous. Drawing on Walter Ong’s work on orality and literacy, he argues that “Bill W.’s Story” as it appears in print cannot fully capture the oral tradition of storytelling as it occurs in AA meetings.

In his first section, Jensen discusses storytelling as practiced by the Washingtonians, a temperance organization much like AA. He also discusses the influence of the Oxford Group’s (an international and interdenominational religious movement seeking to recapture the enthusiasm and dedication of first-century Christianity) spiritual program to the development of AA’s Twelve Steps. The remainder of the first section serves as an introduction of the culture of AA to outsiders.

In the second section, Jensen covers Bakhtin’s theory of the relationship between the author and the hero of a text, using Lillian Roth’s autobiographies as counterexamples of AA talks. He devotes an entire chapter in this section to explaining how AA meetings provide an example of what Bakhtin meant by carnival, a process through which humor, irony, and parody supply a mechanism for questioning commonly held beliefs. He shows how newcomers to AA move away from their egocentric personae as practicing alcoholics to adopt a new identity within AA. Drawing further on Bakhtin, he examines the autobiographical moments of AA talks, stressing that these moments never become fully autobiographical. AA talks, Jensen argues, are fragmented, yet achieve coherence through the interweaving of two important chronotopes. Finally, using Bakhtin’s discussion of heroes in autobiography, Jensen discusses the kinds of heroes one typically finds in AA talks.

            

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
When drinkers attend Alcoholics Anonymous and their spouses attend Al- Anon, says Jensen (English, Southwest Missouri State U.), dramatic changes occur that cannot be accounted for simply by the absence of alcohol. He explains how being a member can contribute to the formation of a new identity through the transformative effect of storytelling within its structure. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809323302
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,322,071
  • Lexile: 1260L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

George H. Jensen is a professor of English at Southwest Missouri State University. His books include Personality and the Teaching of Composition and The Rhetorical Turn in Twentieth-Century Thought.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)