Accounting for jokes: Jocular performance in a critical age

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9 Scopus citations


In this essay, drawing on the research of Elizabeth and Jay Mechling we focus on the politics of joking and examine the ways in which jokes and joke-telling serve complex political ends. To do this, we provide examples from focus groups, interviews, and popular culture. We attempt to draw lines between those jokes that contribute to a toxic racial environment and other jokes, referencing secondary racial characteristics, that have the potential for creating an integrated community of laughter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-321
Number of pages23
JournalWestern Folklore
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Civil society
  • Humor
  • Joking
  • Politics
  • Popular culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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