Addiction as a complex social process: An action theoretical perspective
Source: Addiction Research and Theory, Volume 16, Number 2, December 2007 , pp. 121-133(13)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:This article introduces an action theoretical perspective of addiction. The view that addiction resides solely within the individual continues to foster significant limitations across addiction theorizing, research, and treatment. Exclusive focus on an individual neurobiological level of analysis precludes important additional layers of understanding, for example, the roles of individual and joint human actions, the socially constituting processes of addiction, and the role of gender. Our perspective is that a neurobiological view on addiction is insufficient without consideration of goals, intentionality, relationships, and meaning. Using a composite case scenario, we offer an action theoretical framework for understanding individual and joint addiction processes over time and within the context of other life processes. This integrative framework considers manifest behaviors, internal and communicative processes, and the social meaning of addiction. This article offers a practical application of the theory and draws broad implications for the conceptualization and subsequent language of addiction.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2007-12-01