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The Different Genres of Addiction
Valeria Herrera
University of Texas at El Paso




Addiction is a problem that is taking over today’s society and permeating the lives of
young people today. Psychological evidence has proved that addictions evolve into a
psychological pattern of necessity such as seeking and consuming at the expense of other
activities and the inability to cease the consummation of the addictive substance (Robinson &
Berridge, 2000). There is an epidemic of addiction to alcohol and drugs which has infused the
lives of young people for a long period of time but as technology has begun to advance,
addiction to technological devices has consumed the lives of civilians throughout the United
States and the entire world. These social problems are the basis to the issues of today’s young
society. The two genres that would best interpret the topic would be oral and visual due to the
fact that they are the most effective means of speaking to young people today. These genres are
the most appealing to new generations and transmit a message of authority and power that
influence the opinions of today’s young society.


The power of speaking to someone and transmitting a powerful message has been a genre
that has been in existence since the beginning of time. When communities were incapable of
transmitting messages through typography, due to the fact that it was not in existence, people
would transmit messages through the power of tongue. Examples that illustrate the power of this
genre are exemplified 2000 years ago in the time of Christ when people would listen to
preachers. God sent his messengers to speak to his people in order to inspire and motivate them
to turn away from sin and repent. This practice of convincing an audience has lasted the test of
time such as examples in today’s society of political candidates who want to attract voters and



stimulate a group of people. The topic that I have chosen would be perfectly transmitted orally
due to the fact that many people have experienced circumstances which have made them turn
away from harmful addictions and speaking of these circumstances have helped many
individuals leave the substances tormenting their lives.
In the topic of addictions, pathos influences the greater part of the audience since the
topic is very personal and individual. The genre evokes a sense of emotional sentiment towards
the audience due to the fact that stories may be individual or of a close family member. By using
an oral genre, the pathos of the story becomes greater and therefore more compelling and
moving. Ethos is transmitted in the genre because of the truly personal testimonies that are
included in the topic. An oral genre effectively transmits the message of addictions because it
establishes a sense of true and personal stories, providing credibility and authenticity to a
speaker’s audience. Personal experiences and situations in families show evidence that support
the claims of the genre, showing the logos that arises from the topic transmitted orally. Postaddiction effects are spoken about, demonstrating true evidence about events and providing
integrity to a speaker’s personal experiences and evidence that the event occurred and affected
numerous individuals.


As a technologically centered world, visuals are one of the most important genres due to
the movement of people that it has incited today Today’s world is a realm of remarkable
technological advances and as technology has progressed, visuals have brought to life events
which were once impossible to put on a screen but have come to life due to the rapid growth of



technology. Young people are extremely moved by visuals which have given life to beloved
characters, worlds, and movements such as testimonies about the harmful effects of addictions.
Examples of the visual genre in today’s society, concerning addictions, are the powerful videos
of the Montana Meth Project. Founded in 2005, the Montana Meth Project is a foundation that
has aimed its time and energy at reducing the use of methamphetamines through public service
announcements. The videos of the foundation have become extremely popular due to their raw
and crude visuals, highlighting the long-term effects of consuming the life-altering drug. This
example of visuals shows an audience the true effects of consuming drugs and reveals the power
of the genre of visuals. Visuals move people and show events through a different approach which
allows the audience to truly see and experience the consequences of their harmful actions.
The pathos of the genre of visuals is the emotional aspect that comes along with
experiences which helps the audience relate and understand events transmitted through images.
Images are very powerful and exemplify the true effects of situations by allowing a person to
comprehend an image and look at themselves in the individual’s shoes. The authenticity of the
genre shows the ethos by showing a person what occurred in an event. If an audience is shown
evidence, the impact is much greater than merely telling an audience what happened in a
particular event. The ethos of the genre also supports the logos by showing the audience what
occurred and that the events are logical and true. When an audience recognizes the evidence with
their own eyes, they are much more moved by the events and bestow an image in their heads of
the extensive effects of addictions on the victims and their families.




Genres allow audiences to learn about a certain topic and the effects that a situation can
have on them and their peers. The topic of addictions is very personal and allows an audience to
relate to the experiences and learn from the horrible consequences of consuming substances that
ruin the lives of them and their families. In conjunction with the topic, the oral and visual genres
allow a narrator to express the severity of the issue and exemplify the effects in a powerful form
that encompasses every detail that should be illustrated in order to deliver the message. Genres
allow a narrator to express himself through the correct and most effective means of expression
and helps him deliver a message that strengthens him and persuades an audience.



Robinson, T. E., & Berridge, K. C. (2000). The psychology and neurobiology of addiction: an
incentive–sensitization view. Addiction, 95(8s2), 91-117.
Everitt, B. J., & Robbins, T. W. (2005). Neural systems of reinforcement for drug addiction: from
actions to habits to compulsion. Nature neuroscience,8(11), 1481-1489.