Social Anthropological

Social and ethological theorists (e.g., Martineau) have viewed laughter as a marker of group membership and solidarity (for those who share a joke) or exclusion (for those who are the "butt" of the joke) and as a means of maintaining social control and group cohesiveness.

Anthropologists have described "joking relationships" in various traditional societies; these refer to ritualized teasing between specific kin in which the receiver is required to take no offense. In an incisive analysis, anthropologist Mary Douglas suggested that joking is a subversive act in that it levels hierarchy and represents a triumph of intimacy over formality and of unofficial values over official ones. Not surprisingly, this subversive aspect of humor is particularly evident among members of minority groups who may use humor to portray reality in a way that exposes social inequities. Much feminist humor and political humor, particularly that found in Central and Eastern European countries while under authoritarian rule, is of this type. So-called "gallows" humor also has elements of this subversive aspect of humor.

Adult Dyslexia

Adult Dyslexia

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