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This study will provide a critical analysis of David R Rudys Becoming Alcoholic Alcoholics Anonymous and the Reality of Alcoholism While Rudys perspective is certainly marked by an appreciation for the benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous for alcoholics who seek sobriety he is nevertheless objective and balanced in his analysis of AA As Rudy writes in the Notes section of his book Nearly half of the reviews that addressed my relationship to AA charged that I had gone native ie fallen under the spell of AA and lost scientific objectivity while the other half argued that I have been superficial or ethnocentric ie failed to deeply enough appreciate the worth of AA I interpret such disagreement as support that I have successfully straddled the middle of the road Rudy 134 The perspective of Rudy is relatively unique in that he truly seems to seek such middle-of-the-road objectivity in comparison to other works which seem to openly argue for or against AA as the primary avenue for recovery from alcoholism Rudy offers the reader criticisms of AA while at the same time making clear that there are indeed many benefits presented to alcoholics by AA benefits which are not yet available from other sources Rudys objectivity is emphasized by his honesty about his own feelings For example it is an important even crucial element of the researchers effectiveness in dealing with groups that he be seen by the members of that group as at least an objective observer If he is seen as an outsider the members of the group will be less likely to be honest with him or to behave as they would if such a perceived outsider were not present Rudy writes that Just when I felt accepted in the field ie in his field research into AA an experience occurred that questioned my empathy skills Rudy was coming out of an AA meeting when he was approached by two inebriated individuals coming out
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