University Sub Culture

Submitted By lexiecain
Words: 1075
Pages: 5

Sub-Culture Sub Culture is defined by Merriam-Webster as a culture derived from another culture (Merriam-Webster). Ball State University is considered it’s own culture and therefore the smokers within Ball State are their own sub culture, due to similar traditions and habits among smokers. While all smokers are part of a sub culture Ball State campus’s different smoking sections create diversity between them. Ball state has a “smoke free” campus which prohibits carrying or holding a lighted cigarette or any type of smoking device on or across campus. Many smokers observed felt they were stigmatized as less educated or “below” non smokers. Smoking sections can be located throughout campus including behind the student center. The student center smoking section is behind the building between the building and parking garage, confining the smokers from the public eye. Metal benches near the parking garage with an ash tray hooked on the end make up the designated smoking section. The most people I observed smoking at once were four people, making the size of this smoking section sufficient. Unlike some other Ball State smoking sections, the student center was fairly clean with no visible cigarette butts or trash. Many non smokers pass through this area to enter the student center or parking garage. Shelby, a BSU student and nonsmoker, feels all smoking should be prohibited on campus as it poses health risk to everyone. The student center varies from day to day on what types of smokers are out, however always a few people out smoking; rain or shine. The majority of smokers came alone and were on their phone rather than talking to the other smokers around them. After sharing this thought with a few smokers they collectively shared the same opinion as follows; Non smokers often stigmatize the smoking culture as “dirty” and/or unhealthy which is an unfair reasoning when considering many who feel this way. Moreover, many people say they don’t want smoking sections due to health reason, which even smokers agree is a threat, however those same individuals may be binge drinking or eating junk food or doing many unhealthy things themselves. While both smokers and non smokers may agree smoking is unhealthy the smoking sub culture is not disappearing anytime soon.
Attire is the smoking section varies from person to person, however many people were in food court employee uniforms. The first day of observation a flood of maroon/red scrub shirts came out together standing behind the benches in the smoking section. Each of these workers smoked quickly and chatted, afterwards spritzing themselves with body spray before re entering the food court. The other smokers all had on typical “college” attire, mostly t-shirts and jeans or shorts.

Routines and Rituals Routines and rituals are both major characteristics making a sub culture. The smokers of the Ball State student center had their own routines and rituals. Jaron, student and smoker, has a routine of smoking before classes at the student center, and then again mid day due to the placement of smoking sections and locations of his classes. Jaron also has a ritual like many of the smokers, which consist of “packing down” the cigarettes. When asked the purpose for packing down cigarettes Jaron was unsure but insisted that he did so before smoking each cigarette. After hearing of this packing down ritual and observing many others doing this I began to ask others why they did it and everyone came to the same conclusion: packing down pacts all the tobacco in tight and makes it a better flow of nicotine. While the smokers varied from Ball State students to employees all the women shared a particular routine. Every women observed sanitized their hands followed by spraying body spray or perfume. Men sometimes used hand sanitizer but none used any type of body spray, and many did neither. Mike, a student and smoker, stated he often worries he smells like