Laughter and Ridicule: Towards a Social Critique of Humour

Michael Billig


Laughter and Ridicule: Towards a Social Critique of Humour

Laughter and Ridicule: Towards a Social Critique of Humour

  • Title: Laughter and Ridicule: Towards a Social Critique of Humour
  • Author: Michael Billig
  • ISBN: 9781412911436
  • Page: 328
  • Format: Paperback



From Thomas Hobbes fear of the power of laughter to the compulsory, packaged fun of the contemporary mass media, Billig takes the reader on a stimulating tour of the strange world of humour Both a significant work of scholarship and a novel contribution to the understanding of the humourous, this is a seriously engaging book David Inglis, University of Aberdeen ThisFrom Thomas Hobbes fear of the power of laughter to the compulsory, packaged fun of the contemporary mass media, Billig takes the reader on a stimulating tour of the strange world of humour Both a significant work of scholarship and a novel contribution to the understanding of the humourous, this is a seriously engaging book David Inglis, University of Aberdeen This delightful book tackles the prevailing assumption that laughter and humour are inherently good In developing a critique of humour the author proposes a social theory that places humour in the form of ridicule as central to social life Billig argues that all cultures use ridicule as a disciplinary means to uphold norms of conduct and conventions of meaning Historically, theories of humour reflect wider visions of politics, morality and aesthetics For example, Bergson argued that humour contains an element of cruelty while Freud suggested that we deceive ourselves about the true nature of our laughter Billig discusses these and other theories, while using the topic of humour to throw light on the perennial social problems of regulation, control and emancipation.


Recent Comments "Laughter and Ridicule: Towards a Social Critique of Humour"

Billing is looking only at humour as a means of social control, which, he points out, is often sidelined in favour of less negative uses of humour in culture, and this made the book an interesting read.I actually found the first section pretty boring: Billig discusses the social function of laughter as described by Freud, Bergson, Hobbes, etc. This really dragged for me, however I acknowledge that if you have never read any of these theorists then this background would be essential.In part two ( [...]

Third reading. I am contemplating a new course addressing the perennial issue of laughter: is laughter (toward others) benign or is it harmful? Hobbes and Aristotle argued harm; most of the 20th c psychologists believe in its benefits. A startlingly book about the role of humor in society, to discipline us. We are made complicit in sustaining hegemony with each laugh.

Excellent!


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    328 Michael Billig
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    Published :2018-09-18T18:06:13+00:00