Humor as a Form of Cultural Expression
How can one look at a culture and understand its origins, its values, its accomplishments and failures? Through art, poetry, or other literary, or scientific advances? Maybe even in its political standpoints? All of these methods are acceptable. There is one I did not mention in the above list however. It can be considered trivial by some, but I think it is also important. Perhaps we can understand a culture by its humor.
Even on the surface the jokes of a country generally reflect its habitat, attitude, and its people. In the US for instance, most jokes you hear on late-night television would probably be political ones, bashing this political figure or the next. Why is this so? Perhaps …show more content…
Everything had a joke attached to it. All present conditions and future beliefs were expressed in those jokes. For example, the strive toward communism became a major topic. (There was never any communism in the USSR per-se, there was only socialism which was considered a mid-point between capitalism and communism. The goal of perfect communism was always the promised future.) Some jokes described the promises that were made by the government from the beginning of the state to its very end. For example : “Communism is on the horizon comrades! The definition of horizon : ‘an imaginary line that can never be reached’ .” Another joke was expresses the present as well as the future : “The Communist Man of the future will have very small arms, since all work will be done for him by machines. He will have very small legs, since free and efficient transportation will be provided everywhere. He will have a very small mouth, because he will not have to chew since all food will be provided in the form of small nutritious pills. He will have a very large head, because he will be think a lot ... thinking where to get those pills.” This fine specimen of a joke may not find you rolling on the floor from laughter, but it does tell you about the concerns people faced in the USSR. There was always a shortage of one food product or another in the stores. Most of the things one learned in school and college were about
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The focus of this paper is an analysis of the book Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas using concepts from the Lives Across Cultures textbook. Ten concepts are identified and defined from Chapter readings. Following definitions, examples from the novel of these concepts are shown.
The article goes on to say that, a lot of jokes do not translate very well, and sometimes, they do not translate at all, mainly due to the differences in social structure and cultural norms; what may be considered funny in one culture, may not be in another.” (Psychology Today, 2012)
Norman Cousins said, “Laughter is a powerful way to tap positive emotions" (Moss 1). Humor is studied by many researchers in sociology, psychology, art, literature, and medicine. When people wonder whether humor aids in areas other than health, a treasure trove of possible benefits to the learning or educational community is opened up. Humor can be used as a tool to promote learning.Research speaks to the many benefits of humor in healing, to its benefits in the classroom or boardroom, from reducing stress of students or employees, to boosting self-esteem and feelings of camaraderie. Additionally, studies show that those who use humor to convey a message are often more favorably perceived. Humor helps deliver the presenter's message to
Culture may have its sources in different aspects of human life, as: language, nationality, education, profession, group, religion, family, social class, corporate culture. All these elements influence every member of a society and thus, culture is learnt and transmitted to others.
The main social group portrayed in the cartoon “On Satire” by Joe Sacco, published in The Guardian, is the cartoonists. “On Satire” portrays other cartoonists as obnoxious, insensitive cavemen who often cross the line between satire and just outright offensive mockery of the religious beliefs of Muslims. The purpose of the cartoon is to ridicule the black and white way of representation/depiction of all Muslims as terrorists. Also he is aiming to get governments and news outlets to consider ways in which to stop terrorism by understanding where they are coming from instead of just eradicating all Muslims and hoping that terrorism dies with them.
Culture is a large part of every person’s life, it is what makes each person unique. Within culture there are many aspects such as food, music, clothing, tradition, and many more. Since culture makes up such a large part of our day to day lives, it is almost always responsible shaping and informing our view on the world.
America is a culture that enjoys having some time away from the reality of political issues within society. Comedic entertainment has found ways to also inform its audience about important political statements that is used to “refer to any act or nonverbal form of communication that is intended to influence a decision to be made for or by a political party”( Wikipedia), or ideas through a comedic point of view. Comical news is what brings our attention with ease because listening to straight political debates can lead a person to not want to sit and become informed on latest political topics. The culture that society has developed into became accustomed to finding it better to have a laugh about serious news because through humor an audience
In Alain de Botton’s book, Status Anxiety, he claims that a humorist’s purpose is “not merely to entertain, but to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly.” Humorists have more leeway when discussing controversial topics, thus they serve a vital function in society; however, humorists also have other intentions such as entertaining their audiences and earning revenue.
In the book Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas, there are five concepts from our textbook, Lives Across Cultures: Cross-Cultural Human Development by Harry W. Gardiner and Corrine Kosmitzki. Three of the concepts are components of Firoozeh Dumas’ developmental niche such as the psychology of her caretakers, the customs of her child care, and the social settings of her daily life growing up. The other two concepts are individualism and ethnocentrism.
When you look at the solid ground we stand on, do you realise how fortunate we are? America is the fourth greatest country in the world. We stand strong and tall against the troubles that try to shake us. We are the backbone of our nation and this is the America I believe in.
Freedom of speech is one of the most important rights that an American possesses. Satire should not be censored until it crosses the line into hate speech. Hate speech is aggressive and negative language directed towards a group of people due to something such as race, religion, or culture. Kuruvilla details recent issues with hate speech by writing, “recent prosecutions include a white supremacist convicted of sending a threatening anti-Semitic tweet to a lawmaker.” Hate speech, unfortunately, is not a rare occurrence. It is seen on social media, such as Twitter, and anti-Islamic hate in particular has become a recent issue. It is important to understand where satire ends and where hateful speech begins.
Through the use of adynatons and juxtapositions Daniel O’Brien and M.S. Mason were able to portray the true meaning of the comedian community by explaining the use of political satire and the importance that serves. When comparing the work of the two authors, one notices how the use of the word comedian or comic is prevalent and prevails through the texts in order to talk to one another. They both define this word as someone who is able to poke fun at a given situation no matter where they are located, weather this was school for Bart Sampson or in a holding cell being interrogated by government agents for O’Brien. By poking fun they don’t just mean nice jabs at an opportune moment but they go as far as to mean parodying the whole political
During the Age of Enlightenment, people began believing in and relying upon rational thought instead of religious dogma to explain the world. This newfound emphasis on rationality promoted a breadth of freedom in speech that was previously unknown, a fact which was utilized by philosophers such as John Locke, Rousseau, and Sir Isaac Newton. In addition, the Age of Enlightenment produced famous writers who didn’t agree with the irrational politics and old traditions of their respective countries, and instead relied upon wit and satire to expose the corruption and poor human condition existing around them. These Enlightenment writers use irony in their satires to get their interpretations regarding the human condition across.
Manbearpig: Half Man, Half Bear, Half Pig, but All Global Warming? South Park is a popular animated comedy series written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. While the episodes of South Park are always humorous on the surface, each show usually has a deeper, much more profound meaning and moral. One episode of South Park entitled Manbearpig, named after the monster in the episode, has a particularly potent deeper meaning. On the surface, the episode pokes fun at monster stories, politics, and specifically Al Gore. Deeper down, however, this monster story can be read as a national allegory alluding to the dangers of global warming, the problems with the politics behind global warming, and the eventual doom we will all face
Today, comedy news shows are becoming progressively more popular, and in so, becoming a new source of information – which may, or may not, be a positive consequence. Most comedians twist the truth in order to connect to people and make them laugh. The article “A Serious Business: What Can Comedy Do?” suggests some comedians “use logic to make painful things make sense” (O’Hara 108). Satirical comedy acts as a relief mechanism in that it comforts people that may be wary about a certain subject, especially in the realm of politics. Similarly, Peter McGraw and Joel Warner discuss how comedy can act as a coping mechanism. The authors conclude that “activists all over the world have been using comedy as a form of political protest” (McGraw & Warner 147). Iain Ellis writes about how political satirists do more than just deliver jokes, they use satire “to expose, ridicule, and–implicitly–call for action and change” (Ellis 152). Ellis contends that comedy can make a difference by its constant presence in our daily lives. Socrates, Plato, and even shows like South Park believe that humor is a way to persuade others. One of the most effective expressions of humor to affect social change has been the inclusion of satire. Although humor often provides people a welcome escape from the burdens of their daily lives, the satirical comedy deconstructs social issues in various ways as a means to persuade the