Smoking as a Behavior Definitive of Adolescent’s Social Identity

  • Rizky Septi Nugroho, Sutinah


Smoking, especially in adolescents, is a dominant phenomenon which is considered negative, yet it is seen as positive by the doer. This behavior later results in the implications for the formation of social identity of the smoker. However, relevant data are still limited, especially on smoking as adolescent's social identity. This research is a case study with a qualitative approach, in which the data were collected through interviews, observation and literature studies. The data obtained are then classified into two, namely secondary data and primary data which are then processed and presented in descriptive form. The theory applied in this study refers to George Herbert Mead's Symbolic Interaction theory. The results showed that smoking, which was originally only carried out by adult men, now has been seen as common to be done by youth. Social identities that are formed during adolescence are considered to be the benchmarks of one's maturity. Hence, smoking that is adapted as social identity is expected to be able to increase self-confidence and relieve stress or depression.  Aside from the exposure towards smokers in the community environment, the influence of friends is also one of the factors behind the smoking behavior of adolescents. Another factors exist in the family, community, friendship and personal desires. Hence, the implications that are formed show one's social identity in the form of culture that already exists in the structure of society.