Alcoholic is good and sober; Sentiment change in AA.

An alcoholic is a stigmatized, deviant identity.

This longitudinal study of 55 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) participants found that even chronic alcohol abusers viewed alcoholics negatively, in keeping with normative understandings.

However, following mandated AA attendance, there was significant change in social sentiments for alcohol-related concepts and meanings for feelings and objects related to drinking, as sentiments became similar to AA subculture understandings.

In AA "an alcoholic" is good.

Sentiment change, AA ideology, and the implications for identity and normative behavior are discussed.

Section headings in this article include:

(1) theoretical background in the development of meaning;

(2) alcoholism and AA; and

(3) sentiments and sentiment measurement.

Research report; Thomassen, L. Alcoholic is good and sober: Sentiment change in AA. Deviant Behavior, 23(2):177-199, 2002.