Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The playful is political: The metapragmatics of internet rape-joke arguments

  • Elise Kramer (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Rape jokes are a contentious topic on the internet; arguments over whether “rape is funny” unfold in a diverse range of forums, but they generally take the same predictable form. In this article, I analyze the text of a variety of disputes on American websites over the funniness of rape jokes. I show not only that both sides of these arguments are premised on the same underlying assumptions about the ways that humor and language function, but more importantly that these shared assumptions make it possible for rape humor (and humor more generally) to carry social and political valence—and that in order to understand the significance of the debate over rape jokes, we need to understand the identity work that people are doing when they tell rape jokes, laugh at them, or frown and shake their heads. (Humor, language ideologies, rape, joking)*

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Arnie Cann , & Lawrence G Calhoun . (2001). Perceived personality associations with differences in sense of humor: Stereotypes of hypothetical others with high or low senses of humor. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 14(2):117–30.

Marjorie Harness Goodwin (1982). ‘Instigating’: Storytelling as social process. American Ethnologist 9(4):799819.

Jennifer Hay (2001). The pragmatics of humor support. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 14(1):5582.

Janet Holmes (2000). Politeness, power and provocation: How humor functions in the workplace. Discourse Studies 2(2):117.

Janet Holmes , & Meredith Marra (2002). Over the edge? Subversive humor between colleagues and friends. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 15(1):6587.

Michael Silverstein (1985). Language and the culture of gender: At the intersection of structure, usage, and ideology. In Elizabeth Mertz & Richard J. Parmentier (eds.), Semiotic mediation: Sociocultural and psychological perspectives, 219–59. New York: Academic Press.

Michael Silverstein (2003). Indexical order and the dialectics of sociolinguistic life. Language & Communication 23(3–4):193229.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Language in Society
  • ISSN: 0047-4045
  • EISSN: 1469-8013
  • URL: /core/journals/language-in-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×