The Sword And Shield Metaphor

898 Words4 Pages
Audience Driven, Comedian Approved Richard Pryor once said, “There’s a thin line between to laugh with and to laugh at” (A-Z Quotes). Leon Rappoport, a professor at Kansas State University, believed in the same thin line as Pryor. Rappoport received his BA and MS at New York University, and completed his PhD in 1963 at the University of Colorado(Kansas State University). He studied psychological sciences, and concentrated his studies in decision making and human judgment, even writing a book called Punchlines: The Case for Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Humor (Kansas State University). In another book, The Sword and Shield Metaphor and Other Perspectives, Rappoport claims that humor depends on how the audience receives humor. The audience can either be on the side of the audience that is getting laughed at, or they can be on the side of the audience that is laughing with other people. In the sword and shield metaphor the audience faces two contrasting sides that deal with stereotype humor. The first side is the sword. The sword represents a weapon designed to mock and insult minority groups. The second side is the shield, which can be represented to serve the interests of minority groups. The shield side of the metaphor can be used in an effective way by minorities as a way to claim pride in their identity. Together, these two sides can either offend a group, or make them laugh. For example, Rappoport includes a joke to further prove that a joke can be offensive,
Open Document