Purpose – I extend the discourse regarding The Days of Wine and Roses (TDoWaR) as an Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) film in particular and analyses of A.A. films in general…
Purpose – I extend the discourse regarding The Days of Wine and Roses (TDoWaR) as an Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) film in particular and analyses of A.A. films in general and provide a symbolic interactionist reading of TDoWaR as involving compliance dramas.
Design/methodology/approach – Borrowing from Norman Denzin's notion of a subversive reading of films, in which the author attends to the literal content of a text from a predefined perspective, I deal with the characters as if they create and maintain aligned and congruent actions that authors can analyze as conversational and interactional content. My main interest, drawing upon symbolic interactionist conceptualization and previous reviews of TDoWaR, involves the decisions made by characters to imbibe against their better judgment.
Findings – I detected four dramas (foreshadowed, evocative, profane, and complementary) that differed in interactional intensity and consequences. Each involves mutual decision making associated with self-definition and definition of the relationships. I also locate the dramas in the context of moral themes of an A. A. Film, specifically an epiphany, a categorical commitment to sobriety, an ongoing life cycle of recovery, and synchronicity.
Originality/value – Compliance dramas involve decisions to engage in ordinary activity (in this case, drinking) that becomes nonordinary, owing to semiotic, situational, historical, and interactional dynamics. The chapter can encourage thinking about alcoholism and alcoholic films as involving a moral career of a recovering alcoholic that sometimes must involve sacrifice of other prestigious moral careers (e.g., of a romantic relationship) in order to maintain the authenticity of the identity.
David Altheide has provided a sociological story that may not resemble the fabled bed time stories of your youth, or even the moral parables that guide our commonsensical…
David Altheide has provided a sociological story that may not resemble the fabled bed time stories of your youth, or even the moral parables that guide our commonsensical understanding of the everyday world. However, the story has some resemblance to Hans Christian Anderson's “The Emperor's Clothes,” especially with regard to his observation that we Americans have accepted and complied with policies, directives, and rationalizations that seemed problematic in the first place and downright odious in retrospect (see Cetola, Willer, & Macy, 2005, pp. 1010–1011). Just as Denzin (2007, pp. 449–451) noted with regard to the “one percent doctrine” (if something can happen once it will therefore happen again), Altheide points out the simple fact that our fears, lacking logical premise, have instead become dressed up in vivid colors on television screens. We as citizens seem mesmerized by an apparently inevitable concept that if we fear it, it will indeed come. A few years ago Glassner (2000) discussed how fear mongers create a false logic of inevitability. Currently, Altheide extends this argument to show how such logic has become clothed in the regalia of patriotism, news void of context, and incessant anger.
This article provides rhetorical commentary to Ryan Turner’s arguments pertaining to animal self-hood. Turner’s assessments address one of the central lynchpins of Mead’s subordination of animals (and denial of animal selves), but he also presents a limited and selective review of Mead. In particular, in making his case for establishing the criteria for self-hood, Turner seems to ignore that temporal location, either in a static, individualistic, point-in-time, or more processual, social, and across time terms, becomes central to the question of animal selves. Turner also seems to minimize the extent to which animals can create complex coordination here and now, even employing dramaturgical sophistication as rotted in Goffman’s analysis of the self as performance. Despite his limited use of Mead and Goffman, however, Turner’s assessment of animal self-hood based on his criteria can stimulate interactionist inquiry into the similarities between animals and humans.
Signs of a new period of theoretical and methodological ferment – consequent real growth – are finally appearing on the horizon. Old theoretical and methodological issues…
Signs of a new period of theoretical and methodological ferment – consequent real growth – are finally appearing on the horizon. Old theoretical and methodological issues that have merely been papered over in the past, stymieing progress for decades, are now undergoing long-awaited resolution. New burning issues necessary to stimulate theoretical and methodological growth are now being raised for resolution in the future. Perhaps, no better evidence of this potential renewal of interactional thought can be provided than in the seven chapters published in this edition of the “Blue-Ribbon Papers.” The first three of these chapters aim to resolve, or – at least – reframe long-standing theoretical and methodological controversies.
While Hemingway noted that all stories end in death, this story begins with a death in the family. I recount my mother's (Ma's) death from a sociological point of view…
While Hemingway noted that all stories end in death, this story begins with a death in the family. I recount my mother's (Ma's) death from a sociological point of view, making use of an autoethnographic perspective. Such a perspective encourages a frank portrayal of my involvement in the story as well as more detached reflection of various behaviors (enacted by Ma, her children, her grandchildren, and her friends). I also focus on Ma as a child of the Depression, a young adult during World War II, and a casualty of a middle class lifestyle. Her death, while unwanted, allowed her to create and construct authentic encounters with her children, grandchildren, and friends – encounters that she had avoided while living the middle class life. Her story allows me to reflect on her death as encouraging an authentic understanding of my emotions.
Over the last 40 years or so, the concepts of terror and terrorism have permeated and infused political, social, and economic thought and lexicon. Given the symbolism and…
Over the last 40 years or so, the concepts of terror and terrorism have permeated and infused political, social, and economic thought and lexicon. Given the symbolism and obvious ways in which the terms become socially constructed, terror and terrorism appear as ripened enough concepts for interactionist scrutiny. In general, interactionists have stressed that concepts applied to terrorism become useful to elites for promoting a master narrative along the lines that “free nations” must coordinate efforts and spend resources to defend against terrorist threats. We wish to extend this interactionist analysis in the following pages to provide a perspective on terrorist threats as evolving and emergent concepts, sensitive to historical and social changes. Drawing from a small number of Government and commercial print and online sources in order to identify patterns that emerge from the language, we reference terrorism handbooks starting from the 1970s to current, post “9/11” handbooks. We propose evolutionary timeframes demarcated by substantive events and changes in how we define, understand, and respond to an abstract threat made tangible and concrete. In effect, we suggest that such publications provide insight into how the dynamics of credibility associated with government, media, and “expert” assertions have framed public understandings of threat and danger. These handbooks serve as a heuristic model to draw general patterns and themes that demarcate significant time periods in our understanding of terrorism and responses to terrorism.
This chapter explores the role of informal sport in the development of top-level Icelandic athletes. The approach is explorative and intended to develop an empirically…
This chapter explores the role of informal sport in the development of top-level Icelandic athletes. The approach is explorative and intended to develop an empirically grounded theory. We conducted semistructured interviews with 10 Icelandic elite athletes. Our analysis suggests that the development of free play may be of central importance to the development of elite athletes. Free play offers the opportunity to foster intrinsic motivation, mastery of skills, flow, craftsmanship, and aesthetic experience. We suggest that these qualities are important in the development of top athletes, especially in their early sport career. Our analysis also highlights the importance of unsupervised informal peer interaction. A pool of unsupervised peer networks can serve as a prerequisite for the development of informal sport that may promote qualities that are desirable for the development of top-level athletes. Our analysis further suggests that the contribution of informal sport depends on how it interacts with other elements in the social context and its relationship to formal sport.
Focuses on street vending in Chicago, in the USA, taking a historical perspective. Shows how it was used to alleviate unemployment in the volatile progressive era but then…
Focuses on street vending in Chicago, in the USA, taking a historical perspective. Shows how it was used to alleviate unemployment in the volatile progressive era but then became mired in complaints about corruption and vice. Uses a case study of an entrepreneurial Mexican family and highlights the wisdom of earlier days by showing how street vending offers a series of choices that are different from the choices made by larger forms only in that they are more accessible to the poor.