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National and Ethnic Differences

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

This entry outlines differences in the status, content, and form of humor of groups defined by their nationality or ethnicity. It also presents perceptions about the humor styles of some national or ethnic groups known for their particular sense of humor, for example, British humor, Jewish humor.

People produce, communicate, and react to humor in different ways. Even though researchers have maintained that personal differences in the use and appreciation of humor outweigh national and ethnic differences, the observations about group differences have a long history. Recent studies about the effects of globalization describe the intertextuality of humor that translates across borders with greater ease than ever—though carrying an inherent incomprehension that accompanies the dissemination of humor to different audiences with various tastes in humor, as ...

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