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    Hellstrom, Caroline and Lapsley, Irvine 2016. Humour and happiness in an NPM world: Do they speak in jest?. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 37, p. 51.


    Tsakona, Villy 2015. “The doctor said I suffer from Vitamin € deficiency”: Investigating the multiple social functions of Greek Crisis jokes. Pragmatics, Vol. 25, Issue. 2, p. 287.


    Laineste, Liisi 2013. Can the “Stripping of the Boss” be More Than a Joke?. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, Vol. 47, Issue. 4, p. 482.


    Parkhill, K.A. Henwood, K.L. Pidgeon, N.F. and Simmons, P. 2011. Laughing it off? Humour, affect and emotion work in communities living with nuclear risk1. The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 62, Issue. 2, p. 324.


    Davies, Christie 2009. A general theory of jokes whose butts are the stupid and the canny. Acta Ethnographica Hungarica, Vol. 54, Issue. 1, p. 7.


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Humour and Protest: Jokes under Communism

Abstract

The largest corpus of jokes we have ridiculing both rulers and a political system comes from the former Soviet Union and the then communist countries of eastern Europe. These forbidden jokes were important to those who told them at some risk to themselves. They can be construed as a form of protest, but the relationship between jokes and protest is not a simple one. The number of jokes told was greater, and the telling more open, in the later years of the regimes than in the earlier years of terror and extreme hardship. The number of jokes is a product of the extensiveness of political control, not its intensity. Such jokes probably have no effect either in undermining a regime or in acting as a stabilizing safety valve. However, they were a quiet protest, an indication that the political system lacked stability and could collapse quickly.

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International Review of Social History
  • ISSN: 0020-8590
  • EISSN: 1469-512X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-review-of-social-history
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