An Outsider’s View of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Meetings Essay

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An Outsider’s View of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Meetings


Today, one out of every thirteen adults abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. That means nearly thirteen million Americans have a drinking problem. (www.niaaa.nih.gov) This topic offers a broad range of ideas to be researched within the psychological field. For this particular project, the topic of alcoholism and the psychological effects on people best fit the criteria. Alcoholism is defined as a disorder characterized by the excessive consumption of and dependence on alcoholic beverages, leading to physical and psychological harm and impaired social and vocational functioning. (www.dictionary.com) Through this project, the most important information regarding personal experiences
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Everyday, more and more people are being claimed by alcoholism. The most important message AA makes is that there is help available, and there are people who want to help you, just as other helped them. Louis, a 79 year old AA member reciprocates his AA experience by “try[ing] to help the younger people find sobriety and happiness the way I have. I tell them, “If I can do it, so can you” (AA pamphlet). This is just one of many stories AA members have to offer an observer.

This field site is ideal because it’s a primary source, with options for interviews, observations, and interaction. There is also the option to simply observe and take notes on what the speakers are saying, the members’ reactions to the speakers, and the side conversations about their lives. This data is better than what can be found by searching on the internet or through books because it is first-hand accounts of real alcoholics’ lives. By experiencing these people’s conversations, this project will be unavoidably accurate with its data, and have a sense of reality involved as well. An example of a conversation from the first field site visit involved a middle-aged woman named Michelle and two other men talking about their families. Michelle, who’s a single mom of two kids, 18 and 20, was comforting one of her AA friends regarding his own family problems. This was the first taste of how AA works. It’s not only a place for alcoholics to get and…