Based on an ethnographic examine spanning 4 years, George H. Jensen’s Storytelling in Alcoholics nameless: A Rhetorical research calls upon Bakhtinian concept to investigate storytelling in AA.
Jensen introduces his research with an research of “Bill W.’s tale” because it seems within the first bankruptcy of AA’s valuable textual content, Alcoholics Anonymous. Drawing on Walter Ong’s paintings on orality and literacy, he argues that “Bill W.’s tale” because it appears to be like in print can't absolutely trap the oral culture of storytelling because it happens in AA meetings.
In his first part, Jensen discusses storytelling as practiced through the Washingtonians, a temperance association very similar to AA. He additionally discusses the impact of the Oxford Group’s (an foreign and interdenominational spiritual circulate trying to recapture the keenness and commitment of first-century Christianity) religious application to the advance of AA’s Twelve Steps. the rest of the 1st part serves as an advent of the tradition of AA to outsiders.
In the second one part, Jensen covers Bakhtin’s concept of the connection among the writer and the hero of a textual content, utilizing Lillian Roth’s autobiographies as counterexamples of AA talks. He devotes a complete bankruptcy during this part to explaining how AA conferences supply an instance of what Bakhtin intended via carnival, a strategy wherein humor, irony, and parody provide a mechanism for wondering in general held ideals. He indicates how rookies to AA circulation clear of their selfish personae as practising alcoholics to undertake a brand new identification inside AA. Drawing extra on Bakhtin, he examines the autobiographical moments of AA talks, stressing that those moments by no means develop into totally autobiographical. AA talks, Jensen argues, are fragmented, but in attaining coherence throughout the interweaving of 2 vital chronotopes. eventually, utilizing Bakhtin’s dialogue of heroes in autobiography, Jensen discusses the types of heroes one mostly unearths in AA talks.
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