This dissertation analyzes how alcoholics undergo a moral transformation using Alcoholics Anonymous and other cultural resources. Based upon two years of field research among self-identified recovering alcoholics in Austin, Texas, I inquire into the central problem they faced when they were drinking, when they stopped, and when they were rebuilding their lives: the questions Who am I? and How should I live? Participant-observation in their recovery-related and day-to-day activities, analysis of face-to-face interactions, semi-structured interviews, and examination of diaries, letters, and emails reveal how their drinking selves were a set of relations between their bodies, alcohol, and material engagements with people and things in a social world. When they stopped drinking, they learned to identify certain relations as virtuous or vicious, and reconfigured their habitual ways of engaging with the world to embody virtues. Alcohol’s physical effects occur within self-interpreting beings with values and purposes. For people immersed in American self-help culture, alcohol is a tool for self-improvement and achieving social goals. Alcohol’s effects – loosened muscles, lowered heart rate, euphoria – have any number of qualities. My informants picked up those relevant to their purposes. Those qualities became available as sign-vehicles that signified characteristics of social personae they aspired to be: an elegant tango dancer; a man with swagger; a good wife. When people stopped drinking, they built a new basis for living by avoiding habits that signified vices, such as dishonesty, and adopting ones that signified virtues, such as honesty. They learned to make these evaluations from other recovering alcoholics. They did not follow rules or norms. They learned a mode of moral reasoning in which they formed relations of likeness between instances of behavior, both theirs’ and others’. They learned to exercise virtue at the right time, to the right person, in the right way, for the right reasons. Their interpretations depended on frameworks that include mood and American notions of ethical conduct. My informants also rescaled how they experienced their minds. When distressed, their minds seemed “big,” and they exploited the materiality of practices such as writing to make their minds seem “small.” This work uses phenomenological and semiotic analysis to contribute to studies of personhood, ethics, and materiality. Studying addiction and recovery helps us understand the relationships between people and things in the world, the formation of disposition as an individual and social process, and modes of moral reasoning people use in changing their dispositions. An analysis that links physiological and meaning-making processes bridges an analytic gap between biology and culture.