humor-anthropology

humor-anthropology - Anthropology and Humor by Don L. F....

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25 1 Anthropology and Humor by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen
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FOBs vs. Twinkies “In the Asian community, the slurs heard most often are not terms such as ‘Chink’ or ‘Jap,’ but ‘FOB’ (‘Fresh Off the Boat’) or ‘white-washed’ (too assimilated).” “A ‘Twinkie’ is yellow on the outside, white on the inside.” “Second-generation kids who refuse to assimilate are called FOBs. The cars they drive are derided as ‘Rice Rockets,’ and their pastimes and ways of dressing are stereotyped as exclusively Asian.” (Hsiang [2009]: 306-307). 25 2
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25 3 Humor is in all Cultures Mahadev Apte observes, “not only does humor occur in all human cultures, it also pervades all aspects of human behavior, thinking, and sociocultural reality; it occurs in an infinite variety of forms and uses varied modalities.” (Apte 7).
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25 4 Anthropology vs. Folkore “Anthropology focuses on the concept of culture whereas folklore emphasizes the notion of tradition. “Folklorists would confront humor because a number of the traditions they studied—tales, songs, proverbs—were humorous.” “Indeed, jokes and other forms of humorous expression would come to be recognized as the preeminent forms of folkloric expression in contemporary urban society.” (Oring 181).
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25 5 Ethnic Joke Targets America Australia Canada Brazil Colombia Denmark Egypt England Finland France Guatemala Germany Greece India Iran Poles Tasmanians Newfies Portuguese Pastusos Aarhusians Sa’idis Irishmen Karelians Belgians Guitecos Ostfrieslanders Pontians Sikhs Turks Iraq Ireland Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Pakistan Russia Scotland South Africa Spain Sweden Turkey Wales Kurds Kerrymen Yucatecos Belgians Maoris Sikhs Ukrainians Irishmen Afrikaners Gallegos Finns Laz Irishmen (Davies [2008] ): 164)
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25 6 Ethnic Joke Targets Those in the second column live on the geographical , economic , cultural or linguistic periphery of the peoples in the first column. The marginalized groups learn about the mainstream groups, but the mainstream groups remain ignorant of the marginalized groups. The joke tellers identify with the target groups and see them as comically stupid versions of themselves. (Davies (2008): 165-166)
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25 7 Christie Davies’ findings are consistent with A. R. Radcliffe-Brown’s findings: The best joking relationship between two groups is when the groups exhibit “both attachment and separation, both social conjunction and social disjunction.” (Davoes 197)
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8 ETHNIC HUMOR AS SWORD OR SHIELD Depending on its context, humor can be offensive (aimed at ridicule of an ethnic group), Or it can be defensive (aimed at protecting a group from ridicule), Or it can be both at the same time. (Rappoport 2)
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humor-anthropology - Anthropology and Humor by Don L. F....

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