PMID: 7992493Oct 1, 1994Paper

The experiences of lesbians in Alcoholics Anonymous

Western Journal of Nursing Research
J M Hall


A feminist ethnographic study of lesbians' experiences in recovery from alcohol problems was done to understand from their perspectives how they identified alcohol use as problematic, sought help, experienced health care interactions and participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and maintained recovery. Through community-based purposive sampling in San Francisco, 35 lesbians recovering from alcohol problems participated in semistructured ethnographic interviews of 2 hours duration, which were subsequently interpreted using ethnographic coding, narrative analysis, and matrix analysis. A major finding was that participation in AA was fraught with tension in three areas. Each tension was defined by two poles of experience that appear to be in conflict. They were assimilation versus differentiation, authority versus autonomy, and false consciousness versus politicization. These tensions are elaborated and supported by examples from the women's interviews. Nursing implications regarding the role of AA in recovery for marginalized women are discussed.


Mar 1, 1992·Public Health Nursing·P E Stevens, J M Hall
Apr 1, 1992·Health Care for Women International·J M Hall
Apr 1, 1992·Health Care for Women International·P E Stevens
Mar 1, 1991·ANS. Advances in Nursing Science·J M Hall, P E Stevens
Apr 1, 1990·ANS. Advances in Nursing Science·G W Marsh
Jan 1, 1989·Social Science & Medicine·C K Riessman
Jan 1, 1988·The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse·B H McLatchie, K G Lomp
Jan 1, 1988·Image--the Journal of Nursing Scholarship·P E Stevens, J M Hall
Jul 1, 1981·Journal of Studies on Alcohol·A C Ogborne, F B Glaser
Dec 1, 1994·Western Journal of Nursing Research·P E Stevens

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