Humor Prism in 20th Century American Society

ISBN-10: 0814325971
ISBN-13: 9780814325971
Edition: 1997
Authors: Joseph Boskin
List price: $24.99
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Description: Why do some jokes evaporate after the telling while others are transmitted to subsequent generations? Just what property of humor allows it to touch diverse members of a culture at a given time? As a penetrating and refracting angle of history,  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.99
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Publication date: 8/1/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Why do some jokes evaporate after the telling while others are transmitted to subsequent generations? Just what property of humor allows it to touch diverse members of a culture at a given time? As a penetrating and refracting angle of history, humor illuminates the expectations and contradictions of society, its anxieties and confusions, and permits perspective into any historic moment. The Humor Prism in Twentieth-Century America explores to what extent and in what ways American humor in the twentieth century reflects history, examining the dynamics and disguised messages behind humor. The first section of this volume concentrates on patterns of humor in the twentieth century. Section two looks at the power and politics of women's humor, and at multicultural humor. The final section presents and evaluates the major joke cycles from the post-World War II period to the 1990s as responses to profound social and economic change, such as Polish jokes and JAP jokes.

Preface
History and Humor
What Makes People Laugh?: Cracking the Cultural Code
The Great American Joke
Our Native Humor
Entropy and Transformation: Two Types of American Humor
American Political Humor: Touchables and Taboos
The Standup Comedian as Anthropologist: Intentional Culture Critic
The Urban Landscape
Saloons and Burlesques
The People of the Joke: On the Conceptualization of a Jewish Humor
African-American Humor: Resistance and Retaliation
Why Are These Women Laughing? The Power and Politics of Women's Humor
A Rose by Any Other Name ... The Occasional Doo-Dah Parade
The Giant and the Child: "Cruel" Humor in American Culture
The Helen Keller Joke Cycle
Racial Riddles and the Polack Joke
The J.A.P. and the J.A.M. in American Jokelore
Many Hands Make Light Work or Caught in the Act of Screwing in Light Bulbs
Those Sick Challenger Jokes
Bibliography

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