Author(s): Trice HM, Staudenmeier WJ Jr
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Abstract Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has not only helped numerous alcoholics, it has also influenced the current generation's view of, and response to, the alcoholic. This chapter describes the emergence of AA and analyzes its successful growth. During the period of reduced alternatives for helping the alcoholic, AA began and soon flourished, helped by favorable publicity, committed members, and AA publications. We argue that its founder, Bill W., played a crucial role as a charismatic leader and that AA found a unique organizational solution to the problem of charismatic succession, a solution that helped AA maintain growth and stability beyond the life of its founder. This chapter also reviews the social response to AA including early research on AA, the generally favorable response to AA, criticism of AA, and the widespread imitation of AA by other problem area groups.
This article was published in Recent Dev Alcohol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy