Sociology, Department of


First Advisor

Kirk Dombrowski

Date of this Version



Behrendt, Maia. 2019. "Drinking Behaviors, Relationships And Recovery: A Relational Sociological Examination Of Addiction." M.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Sociology, Under the Supervision of Professor Kirk Dombrowski. Lincoln, NE: May, 2019

Copyright (c) 2019 Maia C. Behrendt


Examination of addiction from the theoretical framework of relational sociology contributes to growing efforts to understand and develop addiction recovery programs that focus on the restoration of important social relationships and ties. Aims of the study include understanding how alcohol addiction has been addressed in earlier sociological studies and to provide evidence for how relational sociology may be utilized to better understand and explain how alcoholics and Alcoholics Anonymous operate within Bateson’s Theory of Alcoholism and Addiction. Through a qualitative study and analysis of 20 in-depth audio recorded interviews with individuals in either active recovery or active drinking, this study provides new insight into how Bateson’s Theory of Alcoholism and Addiction can be utilized to understand the transformation of symmetrical relationships and Occidental epistemologies to complementary relationships and cybernetic epistemologies through active engagement in group-based recovery programs.

Advisor: Kirk Dombrowski

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Sociology Commons