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Reading the Alcoholic Film: Analysis of "The Country Girl"

Margaret M. Basic
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer, 1992), pp. 211-227
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4121142
Page Count: 17
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Reading the Alcoholic Film: Analysis of "The Country Girl"
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Abstract

This article offers an interpretive, interactional reading of the film The Country Girl (1954). It argues that such texts serve as empirical materials for cultural studies. The beliefs and themes about alcoholism which the film represents are discussed, and it is shown how these are a product of the era in which they were created. Bateson's theory of the double bind is applied to the dyadic and triadic interactions that make up the film's text. Unraveling the double bind in the alcoholic relationship better reveals how this particular form of social relationship destructively perpetuates itself through time. Films like The Country Girl reflect society back to itself, and in so doing contribute to the popular culture's understanding of alcoholism.

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