People Innovation Excellence

What You Need to Know About : Humorous Communication Theory

Humor is fundamentally a communicative activity. Humor is an intended or unintended message that is considered funny or evokes laughter. As a result, humor is a communicative process that is subject to the interpretation of the receiver. Shakespeare noted in act 5, scene 2, of Love’s Labour’s Lost that “a jest’s prosperity lies in the ear of him that hears it, never in the tongue of him that makes it.” Put another way, a comedian knows a joke works if the audience laughs. Even though humor is recognized as a communicative process, there is not a communication-based theory of humor that can fully explain what humor is (or is not) or encapsulate the diverse role humor has within our social lives.

Humor, like power, love, and communication itself, is far too ubiquitous and meaningful in our lives to fit neatly into one theory or framework. To add complexity to an already complex subject, one also has to consider the duality of humor—that when humor is assumed to have one function or meaning, it always simultaneously supports (on some level) the opposite. This duality is also termed the paradox of humor or double edge of humor. In other words, humor is a juxtaposition of layers of meaning; this is what gives humor its edge, what makes something funny. Because of the complexity and significance of humor, there is a vast body of literature that examines humor from a philosophical, psychological, sociological, and communicative perspective that can be used to reveal both why we use humor and the role that humor has within social interactions and organizations.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.549

Penanggungjawab naskah :

Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan


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