Rebellious Laughter: People's Humor in American Culture

Rebellious Laughter: People's Humor in American Culture

by Joseph Boskin

Hardcover(1 ED)

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Joseph Boskin changes the way we think about the ordinary joke and its connection to historical forces. Claiming that humor in America is a primary cultural weapon, Boskin surveys and analyzes the multitude of joke cycles that have swept the country during the last fifty years. Dumb Blonde jokes. Elephant jokes. Jewish-American Princess jokes. Lightbulb jokes.

Rebellious Laughter brings together everyday language, social interaction, and cultural warfare to form a brilliant social history. In this important survey, readers will find humor from sources as diverse as the U.S. itself: jokes from whites, blacks, women, and Hispanics; conservatives and liberals; public workers and university students; the powerless and power brokers.

With wit and insight Boskin notes how humor is a cultural tool that can be both a divisive and a coalescing force behind social change and conflict. He argues that jokes provide a cultural barometer of concerns and anxieties, frequently appearing in our day-to-day language long before these issues become grist for stand-up comics. Laughter, he states, is transformative, the means by which Americans grapple with incongruities that all too often can undercut lofty expectations and ideals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815627470
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Publication date: 10/28/1997
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.09(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.71(d)
Lexile: 1350L (what's this?)

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