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Civil society, social capital and the Twelve Step group

Zajdow, Grazyna 1998, Civil society, social capital and the Twelve Step group, Community work and family, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 79-89, doi: 10.1080/13668809808414699.

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Title Civil society, social capital and the Twelve Step group
Author(s) Zajdow, GrazynaORCID iD for Zajdow, Grazyna orcid.org/0000-0001-5329-0388
Journal name Community work and family
Volume number 1
Issue number 1
Start page 79
End page 89
Publisher Carfax Publishing
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 1998-04
ISSN 1366-8803
1469-3615
Keyword(s) women
civil society
social capital
self-help
alcoholism
Summary This article examines the nature of community and family by using the concept of civil society through a Twelve Step group called Al-Anon. Al-Anon is related to Alcoholics Anonymous and is a support group for families of alcoholics. The concept of civil society is addressed by looking at its development in political philosophy and sociology. The work of Putnam, in particular, is used to understand how civil society and the associations which make it up develop social capital [Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton University Press (1993); Journal of Democracy, 6(1), 65-78 (1995); The Responsive Community, 5(2), 18-33 (1995)]. Social capital is understood to be norms and values such as trust and reciprocity that enable sociability or social connectedness. Community, then, embodies these norms of trust and reciprocity through their development in Al-Anon. Al-Anon is studied as an example of an association in civil society. The data come from an ethnographic study in Australia and five European countries as well as in-depth interviews with women members in Australia. The article reviews the similarities and differences between the various countries as well as the form that social capital takes for individual members.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13668809808414699
Field of Research 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©1998, Carfax Publishing Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30030658

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of History, Heritage and Society
School of Social Inquiry
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