By Leon Rappoport
The concept that of ethnic, racial, and gender humor is as delicate a topic at the present time because it has ever been; but at no time some time past have we had this sort of volume of this humor circulating all through society. we will see the facility of such content material manifested regularly in our culture's motion pictures and stand-up comedy workouts, in addition to on renowned television sitcoms, the place Jewish, black, Asian, Hispanic, and homosexual characters and issues have likely turn into necessary to comedian eventualities. notwithstanding such humor is frequently merciless, it may be a resource of satisfaction and play between minorities, ladies, and gays. Leon Rappoport's incisive account takes an in-depth examine ethnic, racial and gender humor. regardless of the polarization that's usually obvious within the debates such humor inspires, an important melting pot during this nation could be the one who we input after we percentage fun at ourselves.
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Extra resources for Punchlines: The Case for Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Humor
Much of the humor in TV sitcoms such as The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres, for example, involved country bumpkins—another type of ethnic slur—who made fools of urban sophisticates. Davies does not give this issue much attention, however, and his second general principle is focused instead on the pejorative language of traditional ethnic humor. " But as can be seen in the following illustrative jokes, only the negative end of the pair is emphasized; the positive end always remains implicitly understood as characteristic of the "superior" joke teller.
In fact, research studies have shown that the most frequent themes of jokes center on sex and/or aggression. This is obviously true of all racial, ethnic, and gender jokes, but practical jokes, like putting a tack on the teacher's chair or a bucket of water over the schoolroom doorway, are also clear examples, along with all forms of slapstick comedy. Aggression carried out in the name of fun is easy to see in various initiation rituals, when people are forced to wear buckets over their heads or recite humiliating lines ("I am a plebe; a plebe is lower than whale shit at the bottom of the ocean on a cloudy day").
Few elections have ever depended on whether one candidate was more amusing than another, however. Noteworthy too is that in some instances, politicians may become unintentional figures of fun. After tripping in public a few times, Gerald Ford was ridiculed for his apparent clumsiness. When Dan Quayle was vice president, he attained inadvertent celebrity because of his frequent malapropisms. " Among the three general topics discussed in this chapter—the general theories about mechanisms of humor including explanations suggested by Sigmund Freud's work, the research studies focused on situations and personality factors influencing how people react, and the practical uses of humor in relation to stress, health, and marketing—it is clearly the health benefits that have energized the growing volume of research.