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Sociology

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

Sociology is the scientific study of social relations and human societies. It is an empirical social science that employs a range of data and research methodologies. Sociology is characterized by theoretical pluralism: There is no one overarching theoretical perspective to which all sociologists adhere. Sociology shares research methodologies and theoretical perspectives with related social sciences like anthropology, folklore, cultural studies, communication, or social history. It differs from these disciplines by its traditional focus on complex contemporary societies and its insistence on including all aspects of social life from microinteractions to long-term macrodevelopments.

Although humor and laughter are social phenomena, sociologists have paid scant attention to humor. The majority of sociological research deals with “serious” topics: social problems and policy-related issues. Hence, insofar as sociologists have researched ...

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