Forcing Things Together That Are Normally Kept Apart

Public Health Knowledge and Smoking Practice

in Social Analysis
Restricted access

Abstract

Current anthropological investigations of smoking offer limited insights into the practice, as they fail to account for how smokers and smoke itself draw things together that are assumed or desired to be kept apart. One of the qualities of smoke is its capacity to link disparate temporalities, spaces, and persons, whether or not connections between them are desirable. Smokers, themselves, too, draw together things as ostensibly different as cautionary public health information about smoking with its potentialities. The capability of smoke and smokers to connect disparate things tends to be overlooked in prevailing present-day anthropological analyses. This occurs when anthropologists align with public health approaches that privilege cessation agendas, rather than taking an independent approach that is anthropologically curious.

Contributor Notes

Simone J. Dennis is an Associate Professor in Anthropology in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University. Her research interests coalesce around embodiment, which she has elaborated in three volumes. She presently publishes in two areas: animal and human relationships in large research laboratories, and tobacco and the relationships people have with it. The latter has been an ongoing interest for the past decade. Her most recent monograph is Smokefree: A Social, Moral and Political Atmosphere (2016).

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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