Cigarettes, chocolate, coffee, and coke.

DiamondDog's picture

...well, Diet Coke. Real coke is too sweet for my tastes.

So I'm a healthy person. I walk to and from school and everywhere else. I don't eat red meat. I avoid friend food. I love veggies and fruit. I won't eat gelatin products. And yet, I have these three vices.

1) Cigarettes

I just started smoking after realizing I've been a second hand smoker. It was yet another closet to come out of. For years, I smoked vicariously through other people. My grandpa smoked. My parents did. The people I dated did. A few friends. One day I realized I was addicted and instead of fighting it and avoiding it, I decided I needed a vice. So now I'm a smoker. I hate how it sounds, it's like I'm weak or something. I only smoke like...one cigarette a week, but still...it's not good, I know. But I can do pushups and run cross country...(and I work like a bitch to keep my teeth white and breath clean. It's working so far...)

2) Chocolate

...because it's chocolate. Because we all need it sometimes. It doesn't require any real explanation or excuse.

3) Coffee

Caffeine. It's a legal drug, and by all means hook it up to my veins. How else could I get through a day. Take everything else away from me, but let me have my coffee. I don't want to be a bitch in the morning, I don't. I want to be happy and have the energy to put my hair in a neat pony tail. But without my coffee, this won't happen. Coffee beans smell divine. I even purchased coffee incense.

4) diet Coke

I don't like things that are overly sweet like regular coke. Diet works just fine. I'm going to have a sacharine overdose. Or some kind of kidney failure. Or cancer, whatver happens from ingesting imitation sugar.

My vices...the four C's.

Comments

suffragettecity's picture

koffie

I'm also hopelessly addicted to coffee and consider it to be my "Daily Bread," generally preferring it to be black with two or three sugars. Unfortunately, such coffee is a bit expensive in these here parts, so I must substitute green tea or various different forms of instant Scheissekaffee. Oh well, it's still caffeine, right?

Anyway, although coffee gives me energy and is the reason I choose to continue living, I find that it still makes me a little bit more bitchy in the morning, as evidenced by the quasi-fascistic behavior I display in class after a few cups o' joe.

jules's picture

one cigarette a week

Does not make you a smoker.

~Jules
________________________
Historian of The Movement To Free Ommpa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

linds's picture

how not?

any habit, however small, is still a habit. the addictive nature of nicotine doesn't decrease with the quantity.

~Linds

-----
Special Advisor on Chocolate Issues for The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

jules's picture

it just doesn't

Technically you are smoking. But it doesn't define you as a regular smoker:

"Social smoking is smoking less than every day. A social (or casual)smoker may smoke a few cigarettes one night, then not smoke for days or weeks afterwards" (Social Smoking: What It Is and How It Hurts You Jouneyworks Publishing 2002).

~

The addictive nature of nicotine doesn't change. You're right. It is addictive by our nature. But whether we are/become addicted is about quantity and frequency:

"Cigarette smoking, like other forms of drug use, is addictive. To say that a person is addicted to a drug means two things. First, it means that his or her nervous system may have developed a tolerance to the drug....And second, it means that he or she has become physically dependent on the drug. Tolerance simply means that the neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) respond progressively less and less to the presence of the drug; larger doses of the drug are required to produce the same CNS effects that smaller doses produced earlier. Physical depndence means that CNS neurons now require the presence of the drug to function normally" (Psychology: The Science of Behaviour Carlson et al. 2002).

You will build a tolerance and eventually you'll smoke a little more a little more often. Every time you smoke you are stimulating the acetylcholine senstive postsynaptive receptors in your CNS, releasing both adrenaline and dopamine. Dopamine has a reinforcing effect, a factor in psychological dependence.

Casual smokers get that dopamine fix and they get that adrenaline rush. The tolerance is being built, the dependence isn't yet an addiction.

~Jules
________________________
Historian of The Movement To Free Ommpa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

linds's picture

thanks

I bow to you. Thanks for clarifying. I'm just so "no! bad!" sometimes that I lose details.

~Linds

-----
Special Advisor on Chocolate Issues for The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

Leisa's picture

LOL!

A little touchy about this issue eh?

Chief Political Right Hand Woman to Ceo, Founder and First Member of The Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tryanicall Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka

hol's picture

but what if....

But what if the concept of a smoker is a socially constructed phenomenon?

So with respect to "smoker" at the level of langue, it is within the social system that the identity of a smoker is constructed.

I could go on here on a semiotic rant, however, in light of the sort of semantic essentialist definitions provided above, "smoker" is socially constructed with respect to the sphere of reference (ie medical, psychological, again see above).

If DiamondDog thinks she is a smoker, than she is. If I say I'm not a smoker, even though I have been revelling in my one cigarette a day habit, than I'm not. I would also add, isn't one free to label themselves as they wish? ;)

~hol

jules's picture

it is socially constructed

And it is also a label that is socially reinforced.

So we can label ourselves, create our self-presentation and biographies - but we also can't ingnore that an element in self-definition involves perceiving the self as it is perceived by others.

If I say I'm not an alcoholic, it doesn't mean I'm not. If I think I am an idiot, it doesn't mean I am. Sometimes I think therefore I am just doesn't cut it.

Labelling. Semantics. Relativity. Yeah...

~Jules
________________________
Historian of The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

hol's picture

so....

this argument of social construction then becomes one of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

#1 DD constructs her identity as a smoker, and then

a) because of the larger social definition that smoking is not a once-a-week habit, she appropriates that and redefines her identity as a non-smoker, (with or without a smoking concession) or
b) because of a larger social body that concurs that anyone who smokes a cigarette with any sense of regularity is a smoker, and then DD's identity is affirmed in her initial construction.
(this is extremely reductionist, so I do apologize)

OR

#2 in the larger social realm a smoker is
a) one who smokes cigarettes, and therefore because society says so, DD labels herself a smoker or
b) society says that a smoker is someone who smokes at least one cigarette a day, and since DD only has one a week, she can therefore identify herself as a non-smoker.

My point...is where does identity construction begin...with the individual or in the social realm?

~hol

jules's picture

okay...

The egg and the chicken of social psychological theory...who the fuck knows?

~

Smoking a deviance. Becker will tell you that character of deviance is relative. That in being othered, the deviant reciprocally engage in the labelling process. From standpoint, the deviant can actually label or other the moral or legal majority as outsiders.

There is a stigma attached to smoking, and the reciprocal othering manifests in non-/smoker relations.

Smoking is about deviance from some line.

~

Enter Lemert:

primary deviance - involvement in whatever behaviour opposing the normative expectations of a group; recognised as deviant behaviour, but also "normalised" and tolerated by the others as a "permissible departure" from the norms.

secondary deviance - after engagement in repeated norm violations, the perceived deviation is no longer "normalised" and tolerated by the others but instead stigmatised or punished some way.

"The sequence of interaction leading to secondary deviation is roughly as follows: (1)primary deviation; (2)social penalties; (3) further primary deviation; (4) stronger penalties and rejections; (5) further deviation, perhaps with hostilities and resentment beginning to focus upon those doing the penalizing; (6) crisis reached in the tolerance quotient, expressed in formal action by the community stigmatizing of the deviant; (7) strengthening of the deviant conduct as a reaction to the stigmatizing and penalties; (8) ultimate acceptance of deviant social status and efforts at adjustment on the basis of the associated role" (Lemert, "Primary and Secondary Deviation").

~

So a social smoker engages in primary deviance. One cigarette a week is not going to get a girl to a deviant career because it's a normalised deviance. Like, say, speeding. Secondary deviance is gradual. As the addiction strengthens, stigma will intensify.

~

Is smoking deviant? Depends who you ask. Relative.

~Jules
________________________
Historian of The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

hol's picture

more, more, more

Smoking is only deviant if you are using it as a transgressive activity.

If I am 50 and I smoke because I like it, am I deviant?
No.

If I am me, and I smoke because I like the hand-to-mouth oral fixation, am I deviant?
No.

If I smoke because it

jules's picture

the self hasn't been lost

Your smoking is deviant, Hol, because you're fucking the social. You have othered the otherers. But you remain othered.

And mine is deviant because I do it despite the stigma. Have accepted the stigma. And I've othered DD for claiming a label that comes under that stigma. Which, in a twisted and inverted kind of way, was earned. That is deviant.

I smoke because I like it. And I am othered by that statement. What's there to like?.

Labelling theory. It isn't the act itself that is deviant, but how the act is labelled by others. The morality values belief systems of those labelling will necessarily impact the label. It is about moral construction.

And deviance is relative. Your examples could easily be constructed with yes, answers. Because it isn't about the act. This is where the interactionist perspective considers emphatic understanding of motives.

The 50 year-old subverts the social control of the medical institution by privileging pleasure - Deviant, yes.

You justify smoking by fixation, thus deviating from a psychological norm - Deviant, yes.

You smoke because you can't quit and are othered by those who say you can, by advertisers and pharceutical companies, the economic base and the medical superstructure - Deviant, yes. Maybe you aren't deviant. But even by the non-smoker you will so be perceived. And it is in secondary deviance that you will consider yourself as so. If they see you as a smoker, you may come to collapse that stigma into your self-concept.

Or maybe not. Theories are theories.

The eleven year-old is with a group of friends who are all smoking and she decides to try it, not to deviate from the normalized behaviour of the group and be labelled by them as outsider from her abstention. A different slant. Deviant in the eyes of the law, larger society, her parents, Yes. To her friends, No.

Deviance is very much a moral construct. And it isn't so much about internalized norms - how did those norms get there? Embedded in culture, institutionalized, codified ~ boundary maintainance.

I'm trying to illustrate Cooley's looking-glass self. How we are labelled by individuals or by social groups contributes to the formation of identity. Self-perception. And with a high propensity for self-monitoring and an internal locus of control, the influence of that process can be lessened.

But the social contributes to identity as a point of self-reference.

If you resist the label, your agency still means shit. Because others also have the agency to interpret your actions from their standpoint.

The self hasn't been lost. This is about one of the ways by which the self is found.

In being labelled we define ourselves, contrary or parellel to the label. The function of othering with deviant labelling is important. It defines boundaries. It reinforces the moral climate and, in so doing, also reinforces and maintains group solidarity. Identity comes with using group members as points of self-reference.

"This is my group." A piece of identity.

~Jules - slow on proverbial take this evening
________________________
Historian of The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

hol's picture

it's all about ..

agency, agency, agency.

We are arguing from the same paradigm, with the exception of an individual's agency.

What if I do not use a group as a point of reference for identity (given that this is a possibility, let

jules's picture

still chicken and egging

Without culture we are without a framework to self-identify.

...

Sapir-Whorf.

...

The very words you use to construct that self are social.

...

You have agency in so far as how you choose to react to said social body. But you still use that social body as a point of reference to locate your opposition to their standpoint.

~Jules
________________________
Historian of The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

hol's picture

and...

thank you....got to where I wanted to be. Simply, that the social body is a construct of the individiual imagination, ie...I temper my actions as an individual to what I perceive to be a social response, action, norm, etc.

An exchange of one red lollypop for another red lollypop.

~hol

hol's picture

PS

exploring box size earlier was fun, but the decrease in surface area makes it rather challenging to carry on a duel of this magnitude, n'est pas?

~hol

jules's picture

box size

I'm snickering.

~

I think it's hilarious that we spent a whole evening having a war of the buttons on a stick and are both satisfied with the terminal point.

That makes it a draw.

~Jules
________________________
Historian of The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

hol's picture

and

this pure mind of blanche neige meant box in the most literal sense - the size of the square on your screen...

*grin*

and a draw it is...I bow with gift in hand

~hol

adbak's picture

Don't stress too much about the chocolate.

Too lazy to research like the brilliant Jules, you have only to rely on my words (until someone proves me wrong). I've read reports of reports that say that chocolate increases the serotonin level in the brain. And since serotonin makes you happier, chocolate equals happiness...though those calories and carbs sure don't. For better or for worse....

Added Later: The power that it gives you to be happy, though, can also spin that euphoria into a feeling that you must share with others. Willy Wonka, after having his first piece of chocolate, became so crazed and maniacal that he lost all sense of reality and began to rule, tyrannically, the Oompa Loompa people and become an evil capitalist, thus giving rise to the Movement. Shit, I hope Jules can forgive me for cutting into her line of work.

jules's picture

i forgive

the history has yet to be written for posting. must first confer with the CEO.

~Jules
________________________
Historian of The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

Luke's picture

Hmmm....

In a burst of mania last night, a friend and I spent an hour and a half trying to buy cigarrettes disregarding the fact that we niether had the money to do so, nor do either of us smoke...It was strange. Anyway, we couldn't and got gummy worms instead. I don't know why you'd want to know that. NO worries:)-Luke