LINDA H. TAKAMINE, then a graduate student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Alcoholism and Recovery as Everyday Practice,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine. How do some alcoholics manage to stop drinking? This research focuses on participants in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in a metropolitan area in Texas. This project approaches sobriety from alcoholism as an ongoing practice in which recovering alcoholics cultivate a virtuous disposition, or a sensitivity as to how to act in an ethical manner in day-to-day life. Through interactions with other AA members, alcoholics learn to recognize their thoughts, emotions, and actions as signs of either 'character defects' indicative of alcoholism (such as self-will) or of 'virtues' indicative of sobriety (such as honesty). Sobriety entails a fundamental and pervasive reworking of their lives, including family, sexual relationships, and work, among other things. The researcher observed practical activities in everyday settings, conducted semi-structured interviews, and analyzed face-to-face interactions to explore three research areas: 1) the extent to which alcohol use was intertwined with practices in multiple domains of everyday life; 2) socialization into AA's practices; and 3) how alcoholics habitually comported themselves within everyday worlds of work, family, and the like prior to sobriety, and the material conditions under which they are or are not able to conduct themselves according to AA's ethics.
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Takamine, Linda Hiromi, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Alcoholism and Recovery as Everyday Practice,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine