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Intercultural Humor

“That’s hilarious.” “I’m offended.” Because intercultural humor is so dependent on the eye of the beholder, these two responses could refer to the very same ethnic joke or humorous cultural depiction. Depending on one’s perspective, examples of intercultural humor may be viewed as either hilarious or offensive, sometimes both hilarious and offensive.

Jokes, usually targeted at members of an ethnic group, regional culture, or foreign nation, may be the most conspicuous form of intercultural humor. Yet such humor is also found in genres such as literature, music, theater, film, radio, television, visual arts, and print media.

It might be tempting to conflate intercultural humor with the idea of cultural disparagement. That is, if humorists use a cultural group as their target, this must be considered disparagement. However, ...

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