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Joking Relationship

  • By: Neal R. Norrick
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

The term joking relationship was coined to describe an institutionalized kin-based form of interaction including teasing, chastisement, verbal abuse, sexual ribaldry, and horseplay between certain pairs of people in some tribal societies. Joking relationships are typically proscribed between people of the opposite sex who are potential partners in marriage or sexual relations. The term came to be applied to voluntary relationships between people who must depend on each other and, finally, to patterns of interaction between individuals or within groups in which teasing and joking are routine and competitive. In both kin-based and voluntary non-kin relationships, it is the customary relationship that determines the meanings participants attach to the acts they perform.

This entry discusses how joking relationships work in traditional and industrialized settings.

Kin-Based Joking Relationships

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