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The constitution of entrepreneurial subjects : the alignment of Narcotics Anonymous and neoliberalism

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The constitution of entrepreneurial subjects : the alignment of Narcotics Anonymous and neoliberalism

Lyons, Tara (2005) The constitution of entrepreneurial subjects : the alignment of Narcotics Anonymous and neoliberalism. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is the most widely used and accepted drug treatment program in North America. Despite its popularity, there is little research and literature on this twelve-step recovery program. In this thesis I argue that NA is aligned with neoliberal political rationalities, which are involved in promoting specific forms of individual responsibility and self-government in the construction of 'addict' subjectivities. Specifically, I argue that NA is a technology of the self that requires 'addicts' to transform their selves, through techniques of the self, into 'recovering addicts' in order to achieve recovery. These arguments are elaborated upon through a discourse analysis of the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text and a governmentality theoretical framework. Specifically, I use Foucault's modes of objectification to explore four ways by which people in NA are turned into subjects (scientific objectification, dividing practices, unifying practices and self-objectification). I highlight the two types of 'addict' subjectivities found in NA; the 'addict' and the 'recovering addict'. Using the examples of abstinence and confession, I demonstrate how NA instructs individuals to engage in techniques of the self in order to govern their selves according to the Twelve Steps of NA. I also discuss the centrality of the concept of freedom in this transformation and in NA in general.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lyons, Tara
Pagination:vii, 104 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):de Courville Nicol, Valerie
ID Code:8334
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:22
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:22
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