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Humor Group

  • By: Zachary A. Schaefer
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Humor is one of the most prevalent and useful forms of human communication because of its multifunctionality. On every continent of the world, humans use humor because of its ability to create joy on a cognitive level and its utility in social settings. Within groups and organizations, humor is used as a coping strategy, a defense mechanism, a divisive tactic, or a method to achieve and enhance cohesiveness. The different social functions of humor, however, depend on the context in which it is enacted. Humorous contexts include the physical setting, the involved participants and their previous relationships to one another, sequences of interactions, the social and professional norms that give meaning and a sense of order to immediate situations, and larger societal values and discourses ...

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