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Clowns in Medical Settings

  • By: Alberto Dionigi
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

A particular interest in clowns has arisen in recent decades as clowns have entered medical settings. This entry defines the role of clowning in medical settings and examines this approach and its effect on patients.

Clown: From Circus to Hospital

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of clowns in medical settings, primarily in work with children. The clown character comes from the circus world. In the circus, its role is to amuse spectators and to provide relief from the anxiety caused by performances by acrobats, lion tamers, and others. There are two main clown characters: the Whiteface and the Auguste. One of the most important characteristics of the clown is represented by its ability to cross all kinds of boundaries. The ...

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