Staying Sober in Mexico City
Staying sober is a daily struggle for many men living in Mexico City, one of the world's largest, grittiest urban centers. In this engaging study, Stanley Brandes focuses on a common therapeutic response to alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), which boasts an enormous following throughout Mexico and much of Latin America.
Over several years, Brandes observed and participated in an all-men's chapter of A.A. located in a working class district of Mexico City. Employing richly textured ethnography, he analyzes the group's social dynamics, therapeutic effectiveness, and ritual and spiritual life. Brandes demonstrates how recovering alcoholics in Mexico redefine gender roles in order to preserve masculine identity. He also explains how an organization rooted historically in evangelical Protestantism has been able to flourish in Roman Catholic Latin America.
"This is an impeccably crafted work by one of the most widely respected anthropologists of his generation... I am quite confident that it will become not only the standard reference on the cultural study of alcoholism in Mexico, but also one of the very best overall social science contributions to the study of Mexican culture produced in the last fifty years." --Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Victor S. Thomas Professor and Codirector of the Harvard Immigration Project, Harvard University
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