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Homosexuality, Representation of

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

The representation of homosexuality in humor reflects cultural understandings of identities, social categories, and ideologies. As a topic, homosexuality is contrasted against heteronormative ideology, which produces the element of incongruity required in humor. The role of homosexuals (e.g., performers, targets, or audience members) influences the social function performed by humor. By examining theories and social functions, a better understanding of the representation of homosexuality in humor can be reached. This entry offers definitions of homosexuality, discusses why homosexuality is a common theme in humor by reviewing the major theories, and examines representations of homosexuality alongside their possible social functions.

Definitions of Homosexuality

Guidelines adopted in 2011 by the American Psychological Association define sexual orientation as the alignment of an individual's biological sex and the sex of those ...

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