Examining The Statistics Of People Who Smoke Cultural Studies Essay

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My work is based on the 2 major areas of investigation: literature review and a practical part consisting of personal interviews with smokers. Literature resources chosen are 'on the specific theme: Social Advertising; Psychological Aspects of Advertising' (Dissertation Proposal 2010) and History of Smoking in Russia. 'The majority of the literature resources used in relation to Social Advertising's theme are dated 2006 and above, proving the novelty of Social Advertising phenomenon in Russia and providing the newest information at the same time. It is also necessary to address to particularly Russian literature in order to make the research outcomes more objective as Social Advertising is highly dependent on each single nation's mentality, religion and set number of immutable social norms.' (Dissertation Proposal 2010).

In Russia the use of tobacco was not encouraged for a very long time. A habit of smoking in Russia has very deep historical roots that go back to the reign of the Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century, when tobacco was imported by English merchants and was brought in the empire in the baggage of hired officers, invaders and Cossacks during the Troubles. Smoking has temporary become popular among the nobility due to its price.

After that follows long time of sinking into obscurity and even embargo of tobacco smoking confirmed by constitution and holing out promises of capital punishment to anybody who disobeyed. In February-April 1697 by the series of decrees of Tsar Peter I the Great who was a sovereign-reformer and for whom violation of centuries settled foundations of life was an indispensable condition of board, has legalized sale of tobacco and installed rules of its propagation. A change of a suit and shaving of beard and a habit to smoke in addition completed the appearance of a new type of Russian man.

By the end of this century appearance of the different types and respectively various prices on tobacco start to indicate the status and accessory to a certain social class. Thereby nobleman Rahmetov (Chernishevskiy (1976) 'What Shall we Do?') smokes very good and expensive cigar brand. In Tolstoy's 'Resurrection', kniyaz Nekliyudov who wallowed into luxury, smokes only the first and the best sort of cigars (Tolstoy 1992). Burlaks- hired workers who carried out the most physically tough job were usually depicted as smoking the cheapest tobacco in their rare breaks. Footman Yasha trying in vain to imitate his gentries smoked cheap and fetid cigars. (Chekhov (1974), 'Cherry Orchard').

In the late 19th century a totally new sign of smoking appeared: women started using tobacco as the start of emancipation. Margarita Aleksandrovna in her 30ties smoked as a steam locomotive even on a strong frost that resulted in consumption. (Chekhov (1974), 'Volodya'). Turgenev's Yevdoksiya Kukshina has modest man's pleasures: 'She has curtailed cigarette with her fingers that turned brown from tobacco, lined it with her tongue, sucked it and lit it up'. (Turgenev (1975), 'Fathers and Sons'). Katya Maslowa- the young woman who lost her moral reference points spend her time in 'music, dances, sweets, wine, smoking and adulteries with young, average, semi children …' (Tolstoy (1992) 'Resurrection').

The habitual of smoking turned up to illustrate: thinking and behaviour freedom among women that resulted in their masculinisation and roughening; parasitic style of nobility's life and its consequent degradation.

In Robert Burns' work on psychology 'Foundations of I-concept' human representation of his own person is interpreted through other people's representations of himself that causes the fact that the person is formed under socio-cultural factors' influence. (Burns 1986). Therefore the overall objective of social advertising is to assist the person to find a force in himself and to resist the negative habits from the world around which have such a strong influence on an estimation of the own I, and also to accept 'positive expectations of the surrounding environment' and to take them for an outlook's basis.

On Maslow's hierarchy of needs one of the most important needs is self-realization and social advertising should enable people with self-realisation.

A widely used method in social advertising is a principle that is so-called: 'Do not do, and is usually not very effective. In a precept 'Do not Do' there is already a push to a fulfilment of this act by virtue or that intenders an idea on a similar act into consciousness, and, hence, a tendency to its fulfilment.' (Vigotsky 2000 p. 17).

Use of negative in advertising holds the person in a problem situation and usually does not offer an exit, which is accompanied by the phenomenon of a cognitive discord when a person does not let a negative character into his consciousness while being shown the worst result of an advanced problem even with the good purposes. Submission of a problem is not a solution of a problem. It is necessary to interest and excite a person by safe prospects, when the mentality being in a condition of emotional rise is more open for perception of new norms.

If there is a necessity of mentioning a problem in advertising, it is necessary to make it meaningless, to deprive its force and then to give an alternative and detailed solution. In a basis of psychological working capacity of an effective influence there is a feeling of freedom's increase instead of feeling of its restriction.

The important role is also given to facts and the skill to think critically instead of categorically accepting already stated estimation (which usually causes scepticism) that is the extremely important in battling against negative influence of commercial tobacco announcements. (Sergeyev 2006 pp. 45- 55).

It is impossible to cause any behavioural process or to direct it differently, otherwise, than having created a corresponding stimulus. (Vigotsky 2000 p.45). A halfway of an advertising message's working capacity and therefore its influence on person is in correlation of an offered result with the vital space and in seeing the given advantages in own circumstances.

Explanations of 'ways' to the solution of a problem shown in advertisement that are described in answers to questions 'What, Where and When something is necessary to be done?' have been investigated by German psychologist Levin and have been named 'channel factors' and play the vital role in human perception. If during an advertising there is only shown a problem instead of its simple in understanding and actions and step-by-step solution, there will not be any result. (Sergeyev 2006 p.69)

Finally, the field of Social Advertising in Russia is almost unexplored and needs in depths social researches to find the key controls of population in terms of reducing the level of smokers in the country. As it was clearly seen from the interviews, the rise of the price on tobacco and prohibition of the commercial tobacco advertisements should have a very positive effect; otherwise widely distributed commercials only reduce or even absorb the whole positive effect from the social anti-tobacco campaign.