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Smell in the City: Smoking and Olfactory Politics

Smell in the City: Smoking and Olfactory Politics This paper explores smoking in the city as a sensorially transgressive practice that leads to the generation of sensuous ‘effluent’. An assessment of the relevant literature on tobacco control and urban geography reveals that it is very much sensorially sterile. Accordingly, it is hoped to redress this gap by being attentive to how a smoking related olfactory politics manifests itself in Singapore. By teasing out the embodied sensations that sensuous urban encounters between smokers and non-smokers can elicit, the paper argues that stigmatising sensory impressions of moral defilement are often (‘legitimately’) ascribed onto bodies emitting and reeking of cigarette smoke. Alongside this, the paper demonstrates how these unflattering sensory impressions can have implications for the segregation of smokers in public spaces. As a consequence of such socio-spatial stratifications of odorous bodies, some strategies of impression management are outlined that smokers adopt so as to fashion a more palatable moral and olfactory presentation of the self. Finally, the paper concludes with some thoughts on nurturing new sensory responses as a means of coping with urban diversity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Urban Studies: An International Journal of Research in Urban Studies SAGE

Smell in the City: Smoking and Olfactory Politics

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References (61)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2012 Urban Studies Journal Limited
ISSN
0042-0980
eISSN
1360-063X
DOI
10.1177/0042098012453855
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper explores smoking in the city as a sensorially transgressive practice that leads to the generation of sensuous ‘effluent’. An assessment of the relevant literature on tobacco control and urban geography reveals that it is very much sensorially sterile. Accordingly, it is hoped to redress this gap by being attentive to how a smoking related olfactory politics manifests itself in Singapore. By teasing out the embodied sensations that sensuous urban encounters between smokers and non-smokers can elicit, the paper argues that stigmatising sensory impressions of moral defilement are often (‘legitimately’) ascribed onto bodies emitting and reeking of cigarette smoke. Alongside this, the paper demonstrates how these unflattering sensory impressions can have implications for the segregation of smokers in public spaces. As a consequence of such socio-spatial stratifications of odorous bodies, some strategies of impression management are outlined that smokers adopt so as to fashion a more palatable moral and olfactory presentation of the self. Finally, the paper concludes with some thoughts on nurturing new sensory responses as a means of coping with urban diversity.

Journal

Urban Studies: An International Journal of Research in Urban StudiesSAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2013

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