Professor Wendy Dossett continues to talk about various aspects of the 12-Step Fellowship. In the first clip, Wendy points out that the first 164 pages of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have remained the same since the 1930s. The language can be considered problematic in today’s world, for example being very patriarchal. The core text is unlikely to change, but people have the freedom to interpret the text as they wish.
Wendy goes on to point out that many people judge AA by the writings. However, a person cannot just base one’s opinion on the writings, they must also consider the ethnography. And there is a ‘live and vibrant community around these writings that are reinterpreting’ them.
Wendy has studied the concept of ‘Higher Power’ for a long time and the key message that she wants to get out there ‘is the diversity and creativity of people who engage with that concept and how they interpret it.’ These people are not sitting back and accepting a 1930s concept, ‘they are engaging with it in active, agentic ways.’
In the last clip, Wendy looks at some of the 12-Step practices that people engage in on their journey to recovery. She discusses a key practice, that of ‘taking a searching and fearless moral inventory’ Those words sound as if they are coming from a place of moral judgement. However, Wulf points out that both he and Wendy have been to large scale recovery conferences, and those places feel so immensely non-judgemental.