“IF EVERYONE COPIES ME, THAILAND WILL BE SO MUCH BETTER OFF”: THE POWER OF VERBAL IRONY IN YOUTH CONVERSATION

E. Leslie Cameron, Lea Hedman, Nora Didkowsky, Sombat Tapanya, C. Ann Cameron

Abstract


This paper explores the types of verbal irony employed by resilient youth in spontaneous conversation and examines how they use this irony to navigate potentially challenging psychosocial terrain. We documented and analyzed instances of irony in the spontaneous speech of adolescent participants in an international, ecological study of resilience using quasi-naturalistic and participatory visual methods. We found irony to be co-constructively utilized by the youths we studied. They spontaneously used many types of irony to mute criticism and avoid embarrassment. These resilient youth, who were thriving under adverse circumstances, used irony in a positive way to facilitate affiliation with their friends and family.


Keywords


humor, irony, youth, resilience, interaction, visual methodology, quasi-ecological

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies ISSN (online) 1920-7298
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