Jumpstart Your Paper

Browse our Free Essay examples and check out our Writing tools to get your assignments done.

Is humor an effective communication?

8 page
Solution Available NOW
English (U.S.)
Total cost:
$ 25


Is humour an effective communication tool for minority groups living in mainstream societies? How is it used (refer to the theories of humour)?


Intro 200
- Provide some brief information about the topic broadly
- Then clearly state your position (your thesis statement). This essay will argue that….. (humour iis an effective tool of communicating political agendas and protest for ethnic minority groups…..
- Then you stay what exactly your essay will cover – how you will explore this position. E.g. you’ll say that you’re going to focus on indigenous Australians.


Body of the essay 1500

Background information about the humour theories. Emphasise that incongruity is the stronger one (see Karen’s lecture slides) - 300 words

Background information about indigenous people in Australia – political stuff, oppression, why they are now a minority. - 200 words

Their use of humour in communicating and responding to stereotypes and stigma…. Use examples and the literature. - 1000 words

Conclude200 words
- Synthesise the main points discussed in your essay and emphasise your position here.



# Oshima, K., 2000, ‘Ethnic Jokes in Hawai’I’, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, vol. 13(4), Walter de Gruyter, Berlin,

Davies, C., 1982, ‘Ethnic Jokes, Moral Values and Social Boundaries’, The British Journal of Sociology, v. 33(3)

Boskin, J., 1987, ‘The Complicity of Humor: the Life and Death of Sambo’ in Morreall, J., 1987, The Philosophy of Laughter and Humor, State University of New York Press.

Boskin, J., & J. Dorinson, 1985, ‘Ethnic Humor: Subversion and Survival’, American Quarterly, v. 37/1, Special Issue: American Humour (Spring 1985), The Johns Hopkins University Press,

Cundall, M., 2012, ‘Towards a better understanding of racist and ethnic humor’, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 25(2), Berlin, Germany.

Some ‘general’ disparaging humour sources:

Neu, J., 2008, Sticks and Stones, the Philosophy of Insults, Oxford University Press, New York

Cohen, T., 1999, Jokes: Philosophical thoughts on joking matters, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Ford, T., & M. Ferguson, 2004, ‘Social Consequences of Disparagement Humor: A Prejudiced Norm Theory’, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2004, v. 8(1)

Kuipers, G, 2009, ‘Humor Styles and Symbolic Boundaries’, Journal of Literary Theory, 3(2)

I found the following article helpful for my study but it mainly discussed humour about and by women – who can be considered another group who face mainstream ridicule:

Kotthoff, H., 1999, ‘Gender and Joking: On the Complexities of Women’s Image Politics in Humorous Narratives’, Journal of Pragmatics, v.32, 2000,





Is humor an effective communication?




1.0 Introduction

Today, various questions have been raised concerning the effectiveness of humor as a tool of communication. Moore (2013, p.313) opine that humor is among the most significant forms of communication; however, it has been ignored over time. Humor is an essential cog in any communication process as such it is often labeled as the lubricant for social life considering it is a vital part of interpersonal relationships (Oshima, 2000). In different settings, the input and significance of humor in communication are regrettably unrecognized. Besides, the effectiveness of humor as a tool for communicating among the minority tribes such as the indigenous people of Australia has attracted very little research. This essay will focus on seeking evidence on how minority group living in mainstream societies incorporate and use humor while communicating and responding to various societal issues. The indigenous people of Australia use humor while communicating so that they can approach sensitive socio-political issues in a non-threatening way because as a tool for communicating humor breaks down different barriers to communication. The minority groups find humor as a valid form for communicating mostly when relaying political agendas and protesting against ethnic discrimination.

2.0 Humor theories

            According to Boskin (1987), researchers have failed to come up with a common conclusion on what can be termed as funny. Relief theory, superiority theory, and incongruity theory have been identified as theories that often depict what human beings find funny.

·      Relief theory: This theory relates to emotional moments it explains how during such times laughter helps in reducing tension levels. Tension moments often characterize communication; however, laughter plays an essential role in assisting individuals to deal with moments that are highly stressful.

·      Superiority theory: This theory focuses on the issues of detachment; it elaborates on why people laugh at others. For example, when someone is jogging, and he/she falls, it can be painful, but still; another person might find it funny.

·      Incongruity theory: This theory aims at when familiarity and logic are replaced by things that do not complement each other. Incongruity theory illuminates...


Not exactly what you need?

Do you need a custom essay? Order right now:
Related Topics: