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Cross-Cultural Humor

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

The term cross-cultural humor can refer to one of three different things: humor that is cross-cultural, humor that is constructed cross-culturally, or a cross-cultural perspective on humor as a human cultural phenomenon. Each category suggests its own set of considerations. This entry discusses each of these broad categories, providing a definition and offering examples of humor that fit within the category. The entry concludes with some comments about whether technology and, in particular, access to international multimedia performances on the Web open up new ways of thinking about the idea of cross-cultural humor.

In the first category, humor that is cross-cultural, several considerations immediately arise. The humor itself may be somehow cross-cultural in its essence, that is, so universal that it can be immediately understood by ...

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