Ego Atrophy in Addiction Illustrated through American Cultural Music Folklore

James Fine, Samuel Juni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Popular music is an artifact of folklore that can provide a keen insight into societal complexity. As a window with minimal censorship, it allows access to a subgroup whose motifs are often obfuscated from within and without by defensive and self righteous distortions. Music is a primary source depicting the strivings and failings of a culture or its tributaries. An overview is offered of the American social historical context of substance abuse, as it informs the theory of ego atrophy to conceptualize addiction. In this study, it is appealed to as an aid in the elaboration of addictive behavior. Adjunctively, major themes in movie pictures are referenced as parallel, albeit less refined, indices of stereotype in the culture. Together with societal laws and mores, these markers point to a specific behavioral and value system that typifies the ego of the substance abuser.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-328
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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