Critical Laughter: The Standup Comedian's Critique of Culture at Home
AbstractOne of the main mandates of cultural anthropology is the study of assumptions within a given culture. This analysis is echoed by contemporary standup comedians, who perform ethnographic cultural critiques within their own cultures. Although both anthropologists and comedians practice participant observation, I will argue that the comedian’s use of hyperbole and humour creates a safe space in which sensitive socio-political topics can be explored, and that the comedian presents a dynamic oral narrative that allows for interactions with current events and the audience. Drawing from contemporary ethnographic and comedic works I will analyze both representational forms, suggesting ways in which anthropologists can look to comedians for new ways of dealing with issues of representation, subjectivity, and accessibility.
Authors contributing to PlatForum agree to release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International license. This licence allows anyone to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear.
Authors retain copyright of their work and grant the journal right of first publication.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.