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Transforming Identities

Context, Power and Ideology in a Therapeutic Community

Series:

Barbara Frankel

Addict rehabilitation is best thought of as a process of transforming identities - that is, of making reprobate street characters that society labels «drunks,» «pill freaks,» «junkies,» and the like into decent members of respectable society. This process, as carried on in a therapeutic community of the early 70's called Eagleville Hospital, is described in this book from the perspective of an anthropological participant-observer who lived for a time with a women's therapy group. What she saw was a world in which both staff and patients reside within a radically restructured social and cultural ambience. In this «brave new world» most contexts of daily life are affected, particularly with respect to their ideological content and relations of power. It is, therefore, these aspects of Eagleville's reality-system that the analysis is focused upon. The goal is to unpack the elements of the identity-transformation process.
Contents: Addict rehabilitation - Personal and social identity - Symbolic anthropology - Therapeutic communities - Drugs and alcohol - Context.