All Title Author
Keywords Abstract


A Welcome Antidote to the Evangelism of Compulsory Optimism and Resilience

DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2017.72005, PP. 83-94

Keywords: Resilience, Deficit, Addiction, Twelve Step Therapy, Client Centred Practice, Cognitive Behavioural Practice, Motivational Interviewing

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib

Abstract:

This article problematizes the current western hubris around resilience and compulsory positivity that has ideologically insinuated itself into the addiction counselling treatment field. It argues that these discourses emanate less from clinical propositions but represent a virulent enactment of a neo-liberal agenda wherein language is implicated in the recreation of new subjectivities conducive to a declining social state. We also apprehend the ideological effect of verbal softeners, euphemisms and fabricated binaries and inversions routinely utilized by addiction clinicians enrolled as ground troops in this project. We also anticipate some likely challenges to this. The objective of this article is to reinstall the veracity of vulnerability and deficit appreciation, thus problematizing a prevailing Pollyanna version of resilience. It reviews the ineluctable alienating trajectory of lexicons used in the field over a few decades in various interventions, including Twelve Step Therapy, Client Centred Practice, Cognitive Behavioural Practice and Motivational Interviewing in order to show how clinicians now reproduce neo-liberal subjectivity through a language that constitutes subjectivity amenable to a declining social state. We apprehend grammatical structures that stigmatise sickness to reproduce hegemony of compulsory wellness.

When self-esteem, or others’ adulation,
Would cunningly persuade us we are something,
Above the common level of our kind,
The grave gainsays the smooth complexioned-flattery,
And with blunt truth acquaints us with what we are—The Grave by Robert Blair (Clymer, 1995)

Of the argument with others we make rhetoric,
Of the argument with ourselves we make poetry—W. B. Yeats (Bloom, 1970)

References

[1]  Alcoholics Anonymous (2001). Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism. Center City, MN: Hazelden Publishing.
[2]  American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic Criteria from dsM-iV-tr. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
[3]  Aquash, M. (2013). First Nations Control of Education: One Community’s Experience. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 36, 59.
[4]  Blake, W., & Stevenson, W. H. (2007). Blake: The Complete Poems. London: Pearson Education.
[5]  Blockley, D. (2015). Finding Resilience through Practical Wisdom. Civil Engineering and Environmental Systems, 32, 18-30.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10286608.2015.1022725
[6]  Bloom, H. (1970). Yeats (Vol. 378). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
[7]  Bracke, S. (2016). Is the Subaltern Resilient? Notes on Agency and Neo-Liberal Subjects. Cultural Studies, 30, 839-855.
[8]  Carton, T. (2014). The Spirit of Motivational Interviewing as an Apparatus of Governmentality. An Analysis of Reading Materials Used in the Training of Substance Abuse Clinicians. Sociology Mind, 4, 192-205.
[9]  Clymer, L. (1995). Graved in Tropes: The Figural Logic of Epitaphs and Elegies in Blair, Gray, Cowper, and Wordsworth. ELH, 62, 347-386.
https://doi.org/10.1353/elh.1995.0011
[10]  Davis, O. (2016). Resiling from “Resilience”. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 17, 135-138.
https://doi.org/10.1080/15240657.2016.1172921
[11]  Dean, J. (2008). “The Lady Doth Protest Too Much”: Theorising Disidentification in Contemporary Gender Politics. Ideology in Discourse Analysis, 24, 1-19.
[12]  DeVerteuil, G., & Golubchikov, O. (2016). Can Resilience Be Redeemed? Resilience as a Metaphor for Change, Not against Change. City, 20, 143-151.
https://doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2015.1125714
[13]  Ellis, A. (1992). Psychotherapy Can and Will Create Social Change. Hallelujah! Psychotherapy in Private Practice, 10, 117-121.
https://doi.org/10.1300/J294v10n04_12
[14]  Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical Discourse Analysis. The Critical Study of Language. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.
[15]  Foucault, M. (1980). The Eye of Power. In C. Gordon (Eds.), Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977. New York, NY: Vintage.
[16]  Hutcheon, E., & Lashewicz, B. (2014). Theorizing Resilience: Critiquing and Unbounding a Marginalizing Concept. Disability & Society, 29, 1383-1397.
https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2014.934954
[17]  Jones, G. (1997). Youth Homelessness and the “Underclass”. In R. MacDonald (Ed.), Youth, the ‘Underclass’ and Social Exclusion (pp. 96-112). London: Routledge.
[18]  Koestler, A. (1964). The Act of Creation. New York, NY: Macmillan Company.
[19]  Larner, W. (2000). Neo-Liberalism: Policy, Ideology, and Governmentality. Studies in Political Economy, 63, 5-25.
https://doi.org/10.1080/19187033.2000.11675231
[20]  Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (1991). Preparing People to Change Addictive Behavior. London: Guildford Press.
[21]  Ruprecht, L. A. (2008). This Tragic Gospel: How John Corrupted the Heart of Christianity. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
[22]  Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., & Jefferson, G. (1974). A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking for Conversation. Language, 50, 696-735.
https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1974.0010
[23]  Simard-Gagnon, L. (2016). Everyone Is Fed, Bathed, Asleep, and I Have Made It through Another Day: Problematizing Accommodation, Resilience, and Care in the Neo-Liberal Academy. The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe Canadien, 60, 219-225. https://doi.org/10.1111/cag.12274
[24]  Sokolon, M. K. (2013). The Shameless Truth: Shame and Friendship in Aristotle. European Journal of Political Theory, 12, 447-465.
https://doi.org/10.1177/1474885112471273
[25]  Thornborrow, J. (2002). Power Talk. London: Language and Interaction in Institutional Discourse.
[26]  Wright, A. (2012). Fantasies of Empowerment: Mapping Neo-Liberal Discourse in the Coalition Government’s Schools Policy. Journal of Education Policy, 27, 279-294.
https://doi.org/10.1080/02680939.2011.607516
[27]  Zizek, S. (2011). The Truth Shall Set You Free, But Not This Truth. ABC Religion & Ethics (Opinion).

Full-Text

comments powered by Disqus