"Keane's work is thoughtful and thought provoking and
incorporates elements of medical history and
"A theoretically engaging exploration of the arbitrariness of
the field of addiction studies."
--Robert Granfield, co-author of "Coming Clean"
We assume that there is something wrong with addiction. But how
exactly is it bad to be an addict? What's Wrong with Addiction?
explores the ways in which our views of addiction categorize
certain ways of being as unnatural, diseased, and self-destructive,
often working to reinforce existing social hierarchies. Under the
rubric of addiction, pleasure and desire are demonized, while the
addict is viewed as damaged and in need of physical and moral
Keane examines the ambiguities in medical science's quest to
construct addiction in chemical and biological terms, revealing the
strains in the oppositions between disease and health, and
addiction and normality. She demonstrates how these strains have
become more insistent as the net of addiction has spread wider,
moving beyond chemical substances to other problems of consumption
and conduct such as compulsive eating and sex addiction. The book
also critically examines the ideals of health, freedom, and
happiness found in popular self-help literature, suggesting that it
is the practices of self-surveillance and self-interrogation
promoted in recovery guides which actually produce the inner self
as an object of concern.
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