While tobacco use nationwide is declining, smokeless tobacco (SLT) use remains steady, particularly among men in rural areas. Despite the harms of SLT, researchers know little about what initiates and sustains this use. In this study, we argue that SLT persistence is encouraged by its salience as an emblem of rural manhood. Based on interviews with 64 male and 19 female rural high school students we find that SLT symbolizes rural masculinity, and that many boys “spit and dip” to perform their status as rural men. We specify several peer, family, and community mechanisms that undergird this process. Finally, we discuss implications for men’s health research and intervention efforts.
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||Journal of Men's Studies|
|State||Published - Jun 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Supported in part by a Research Support Grant from the University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research (D. Helme, PI)
© 2020 SAGE Publications.
- smokeless tobacco
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies