How those recovering from alcoholism make sense of alcohol messages in media

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Johnson, Seth B.
O'Hara, Laura L.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Communication Studies
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The purpose of this thesis was to understand how those who are recovering from alcoholism make sense of alcohol messages that they see in the media. Using a qualitative methodological approach, this study answered three research questions related to the perceptions of alcohol messages within the media, the way individuals are impacted by alcohol messages in the media, and how individuals cope with the presence of alcohol messages in the media. Nine individuals were interviewed for this study, all of whom identified themselves as an individual recovering from alcoholism. A number of themes emerged from this study. Participants held negative perceptions of the media and their tactics for alcohol messaging, and described times in which media, both with and without explicit alcohol messaging, has impacted them. Individuals noted that over time, they have become more aware of their vulnerability to alcohol messages. Keywords: alcoholism, recovery, alcohol messages, media messages, perceptions, coping, making sense