Daily and lifecourse contexts of smoking

Eric Laurier, Linda McKie, Norma Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Smoking remains a key topic of research and debate within the field of health research in the social sciences. This article seeks to add the dimension of the smokers' and ex-smokers' perspectives to the debate in order to ground the importance of smoking in people's everyday lives. Data are drawn from 54 semi-structured interviews with smokers and ex-smokers involved in a study of their experiences and understandings of the place of smoking in their daily and long-term biographies. The rich accounts given by the respondents are interpreted through Van Gennep's (1960) notions of rituals and rites of passage. By examining the contexts within which the practice of smoking and the rite of giving up occur, a sense of the effort required to break 'the habit' is given, which adds much to more physiologically-based explanations of the difficulties of smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-309
Number of pages21
JournalSociology of Health & Illness
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Everyday life
  • Rites of passage
  • Smoking
  • Smoking career


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