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Intercultural Humor

  • By: Rachel L. DiCioccio & Nathan Miczo
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Globalization increasingly exposes people to diverse situations that necessitate understanding intercultural communication. Intercultural communication is a complex and layered process, occurring when individuals from different cultures interact to create shared meanings, that challenges interactants as they work toward mutual understanding. Although humor is a universal communicative act, it is deeply rooted in cultural context, whereby one's cultural lens informs interpretations of, perceptions of, and responses to humorous messages. This entry identifies the role of intercultural humor, discusses its functions of inclusion and exclusion, and explains, briefly, the sources of intercultural humor. Intercultural humor potentially can transcend cultural barriers, uniting interactants, as well as exaggerate cultural differences as a means to exploit individuals. Intercultural humor can serve as a mechanism for interactants to engage in conversational ...

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