Sample for Claims about Solution or Policy

Excerpt was originally published in When Society Becomes an Addict

Psychotherapist Anne Wilson Schaef argues that our society has become an "Addictive System" that has many characteristics in common with alcoholism and other addictions. Advertising becomes addictive, causing us to behave dishonestly; the social pressure to be "nice" can become addictive, causing us to lie to ourselves. Schaef argues that the solution for our social addictions begins when we face the reality of our dependency:

NOTE: This piece was published in a book, and it was not constructed with the formal, academic essay in mind. For this reason, the author made stylistic decisions (such as liberally using 1st person pronouns) that students in Freshman Composition should not take when writing a formal academic argument paper.

We cannot recover from an addiction unless we first admit that we have it. Naming our reality is essential to recovery. Unless we admit that we are indeed functioning in an addictive process in an Addictive System, we shall never have the option of recovery. Once we name something, we own it.


Remember, to name the system as addict is not to condemn it: it is to offer it the possibility of recovery.
Paradoxically, the only way to reclaim our personal power is by admitting our powerlessness. The first part of Step One of the AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] Twelve-Step Program reads, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol.” It is important to recognize that admitting to powerlessness over an addiction is not the same as admitting powerlessness as a person. In fact, it can be very powerful to recognize the futility of the illusion of control.

This excerpt was taken from The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers, a Custom Edition by Stephen Reid