Degree Granting Department
Laurel Graham, PhD
Spencer E. Cahill, PhD
Donileen R. Loseke, PhD
12-step, support group, self-help, governmentality, narrative
Previous research on self-change in support groups has focused on the ways individuals accomplish self-change in the "local cultures" of the support group settings. This ethnographic study of the 12-step self-help group Debtors Anonymous (DA) departs from that tradition by focusing on the ways that DA members achieve self-change by employing "recovery" strategies learned from the group in their everyday lives. DA members enter the group during financial crises, and often believe they cannot manage their own personal finances. By learning techniques of financial management taught by the group, DA members gradually gain "sobriety" and financial management skills. This analysis highlights the important role played by various technologies of self-construction in DA members' recovery efforts. Drawing on narrative and governmentality theories, this analysis shows how DA members accomplish self-change by learning to become self-monitoring and self-restrained financial managers and consumers.
Scholar Commons Citation
Morenberg, Adam, "Governing Wayward Consumers: Self-Change and Recovery in Debtors Anonymous" (2004). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.