By Sharon Lockyer, Michael Pickering (eds.)

Humour is pervasive in modern tradition, and is mostly celebrated as a public solid. but there are occasions while it really is felt to supply intolerance, false impression or maybe hatred. This e-book brings jointly, for the 1st time, contributions that examine the ethics in addition to the aesthetics of humour. The publication makes a speciality of the abuses and bounds of humour, a few of which excite huge social stress and controversy. past a shaggy dog story is a thrilling intervention, packed with tough questions and issues.

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Additional resources for Beyond a Joke: The Limits of Humour

Sample text

Today, there is a general cultural climate that looks favourably upon humour. Social scientists have contributed to this climate by producing theories that tend to sentimentalise humour and avoid examining its more problematic and crueller aspects. In this context a critical approach to humour is called for (see Billig, 2005, for more details). Certainly, it is possible to claim that defenders of ethnic humour downplay the social importance and problematic nature of humour when they imply that a joke is 'just a joke'.

David Brent himself self-consciously (and ridiculously) cultivated his office-boss-cum-entertainer persona for the benefit of the fly-on-the-wall camera and his hoped-for celebrity status, showing himself incompetently preoccupied with political correctness and the ethics of humour as aspects of management style, and as lacking in self-knowledge as he was absorbed by his own ego. When the series came to a close, the laughter at his persona as 'real self' finally spiralled into embarrassment at the emptiness inside his shell.

The point has been to identify a type of racist violent joke that does not contain stereotypes. Types of joked-about violence Although violent racist jokes might possess common characteristics, they do not all joke about precisely the same sorts of violence. Distinctions can be made between Fantasy Racist Violence, Political/ Historical Racist Violence and Banal Racist Violence. Examples of each will be given. Fantasy racist violence. In some of the jokes, the violence appears as mythical, unreal or unlikely to occur in actual life.

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