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Title: Moral accounts : the narrative reconstruction of the alcoholic experience in a clinical setting
Author: Waller, Seta
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis is a sociological study of the narrative reconstruction of alcoholic patients' accounts of their life experiences including drinking, in a clinical setting. The research data consist, first, of forty tape-recorded, unstructured interviews with alcoholic patients admitted to a 4-week intensive treatment programme in an Alcohol Treatment Unit, based in a psychiatric hospital. Second, professionals' letters referring to alcoholic patients constitute additional data for the analysis. The focus of the study is to describe what is accomplished by patients' and professionals' discourses, and how it is done. Following arguments developed by Voysey (1975), Cuff (1980) and Baruch (1981) , patients' accounts of their life experiences are treated as situated accounts constructed to display respondents as morally adequate individuals. Professionals' discourses are treated as discourses which also constitute patients as morally responsible persons. The qualitative analysis of the narrative structure of alcoholic patients' accounts, through the Membership Categorisation Device (Sacks, 1972), indicates patients' skills and competence in producing a new version of reality, using the appropriate vocabulary (Mills, 1940) for a clinical setting. Some tabulations of categories used in descriptions have helped to show consistency throughout the data. Some explanations for the findings are explored in terms of the context, gender differences and the ambiguity found in formulations of alcoholism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Sociology