In the same week that his father died, Alex came home to find his live-in fiancee in bed with another man. Paul is a divorced single parent who was recently forced to go on disability. Liz left an abusive husband and then found herself involved with yet another controlling man. These three, along with many others, have found a kind of salvation in Codependents Anonymous. The text asks whether this is self-indulgent psychobabble or legitimate therapy?; are Twelve Step groups helpful communities or disguised addictions?; and what exactly "is" codependency, the psychological condition that has apparently swept the United States? Leslie Irvine went inside "CoDA" to find out. The book is thus an insider's look at the world of people "in recovery" and the society that produced them. Through interviews with CoDA members, case studies and the meetings she attended regularly, Irvine develops a perspective on contemporary Americans' sense of self. She explores the idea that selfhood is a narrative accomplishment, achieved by people telling stories to themselves and about themselves.
She shows how Alex, Paul, Liz and many others create a sense of self by combining elements of autobiography, culture and social structure all within the adopted language of psycho-spirituality. By following the progress and tribulations of CoDA members, Irvine seeks to get to the heart of widespread American conceptions of relationships, selfhood and community. Amidst the increasingly shrill criticism of the Twelve Step ethos, her analysis of these groups reveals the sources of both their power and their popularity.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press ISBN: 9780226384719 Number of pages: 200 Weight: 49 g Dimensions: 235 x 160 x 20 mm Edition: 2nd ed.
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect.
Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
This item can be requested from the shops shown below. If this item isn't available to be reserved nearby, add the item to your basket instead and select 'Deliver to my local shop' at the checkout, to be able to collect it from there at a later date.
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at