This paper, about non-smokers’ civic engagement (or lack thereof) in the context of public venues in Greece, aims to answer the following research questions: How do non-smokers deal with smokers when their cigarette proves annoying? To what extent do non-smokers stand up for their rights? What are the perceived constraints? Smokers’ points of view are included as part of the context in which non-smokers act. Greek university students were interviewed by the author (25) and by two students trained in interviewing (6). Respondents were asked to express judgments and feelings about the smoking “regime” in public venues. Additionally, non-smokers were asked to describe instances of smoke annoyance, report what they do about it and express judgments and feelings. Cultural analysis was applied: data were coded, and codes were grouped into categories, highlighting key assumptions and values. Though in most public venues the smoking ban is massively violated, non-smokers seem to view smoking as “normal”. For fear of being ignored, laughed at or insulted, they seldom ask smokers to refrain from smoking. Their (anticipated) emotions allow smokers to exert a kind of cultural power that prevents non-smokers from reacting. Thus, the latter become themselves vehicles of that power that oppresses them.


University Students, Passive Smoking, Smoking Ban, Civic Engagement, Cultural Power, Semi-structured Interviews, Cultural Power

Author Bio(s)

Luciana Benincasa is Associate Professor in Education at the University of Ioannina, Greece. She has published articles on a variety of topics on both Greek and international journals. Her publications cover a broad range of topics in education, from school rituals of the nation to social poetics and from social creative strategies to the social construction of success and failure. She is author of School and Memory (2006) and Cheating and Student Culture: An Empirical Study (2013, in Greek). Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: lbeninca@uoi.gr.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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