"Come Up to the Kool Taste": African American Upward Mobility and the Semiotics of Smoking Menthols

  title={"Come Up to the Kool Taste": African American Upward Mobility and the Semiotics of Smoking Menthols},
  author={Sarah S. Lochlann Jain},
  journal={Public Culture},
  pages={295 - 322}
  • S. S. Jain
  • Published 28 May 2003
  • Political Science
  • Public Culture
A lthough most often considered with alcohol in policy debates, tobacco more readily compares with sugar or coffee in its ubiquitous and continual availability (and until recently, acceptability) to all classes. The intimate pleasures of the cigarette—from the flip-top box to the smoker’s perfected flick of an ash to the excuse to ask a stranger for a light—should not be underestimated. The cigarette’s social rituals have made it truly iconic of popular culture throughout the twentieth century… 

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