“Smirting” in the designated area: the smoking shelter and the English public house

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This article examines the development of the smoking area in the English public house after the 2007 smoking ban. It discusses the way in which the specialized form of interior that constitutes “the pub” can be considered a liminal space that functions between the regulated zones of work and domesticity, one that is self-consciously coded to offer a sense of tradition and continuity. Through the application of a methodology based in Actor-Network Theory, the article suggests that the pub can be understood as a system of technologies that has been disrupted by the introduction of legislation, which has led to the development of a new form of architecture: the smoking shelter. It is argued that this has led to the development of an activity that has come to be known as “smirting” (a combination of smoking and flirting), which constitutes a reconfiguration of the subjectivity of the smoker in response to the new material circumstances in which they find themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-254
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


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