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  • Author: CATHERINE DAVIES x
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Globalization and the Panics of 1873

Abstract

The point of this article is to show how the “You might be a redneck” joke cycle is appropriated to designate a lower social category within the Southern working class in Alabama, and to negotiate the boundaries between the good old boy working class “red neck” and the lower category of “white trash.” Close attention to language is important in the analysis because the jokers exaggerate features of the vernacular dialect to perform members of the lower social category. Within the tradition of the study of conversational joking (Fry, Sweet madness: A study of humor, Pacific Books, 1963; Tannen, Conversational style: Analyzing talk among friends, Oxford University Press, 1984; Davies, C. E., Joint joking: Improvisational humorous episodes in conversation: 360–371, 1984, Language and American ‘good taste’: Martha Stewart as mass-media role model, Routledge, 2003a, Journal of Pragmatics 35: 361–1385, 2003b; Norrick, Conversational joking: Humor in everyday talk, Indiana University Press, 1993; Kotthoff, Coherent keying in conversational humour: Contextualizing joint fictionalisation, John Benjamins, 1999), combined with the discourse analyis of radio talk (Coupland, Language, situation, and the relational self: Theorizing dialect-style in sociolinguistics, Cambridge University Press, 2002; Goffman, Forms of talk, The University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981), and “performance speech” (Schilling-Estes, Language in Society 27: 53–83, 1998), this study examines joking interaction on a popular morning radio talk show in Alabama that is hosted by two men, known to their audience as Jack and Bubba. The data are a set of CD recordings identified as “The Best of . . .” supplemented with additional regular shows. Examining the joking as an important part of a linguistic “presentation of self” (Goffman, The presentation of self in everyday life, Doubleday, 1959; Davies, C. E., Texas Linguistic Forum 44: 73–89, 2002), the analysis reveals how the joking between the two hosts and with members of the studio audience is rooted in sociolinguistic and cultural dimensions of the working class American South.

in HUMOR

Abstract

The article compares the semantics of economic crises in the second half of the 19th century, focussing on the German-speaking world during the crises of 1857 and 1873. It examines, firstly, religious interpretations of the crises, arguing that these were on the wane. Even during the earlier crisis of 1857 they only played a role in a few instances. Secondly, the article examines the semantics employed by entrepreneurs, as found in annual reports by chambers of commerce. During both crises, the authors of these reports criticized the misdeeds of individual entrepreneurs. In 1857/58, this co-existed with the use of metaphors of physiology and meteorology. In the 1870s, by contrast, such metaphors were less frequent.

Abstract

This article uses interactional sociolinguistic methodology to examine humor as both content and process in the classroom. It contributes to our increasing understanding not only of the ways that humor is perceived and constructed in intercultural discourse, but also the ways that it may have pedagogical benefits of increasing L2 pragmatic and interactional competence. The topic of humor in the classroom is typically treated either in relation to the teacher’s behavior, or in relation to course content. The former focuses on strategies for the use of humor in the service of effective classroom control and relationships with students (e.g., ; ), with the assumption that more effective learning can take place in the atmosphere created. The latter focuses on the use of humor genres as the basis for language exercises (), but with little analysis of the nature of the humor. Within the field of second language learning and teaching, there has been a recent interest in humor as subsumed under the general rubric of language play (; ; ; ; ), with a focus on the cognitive and the pedagogical possibilities at all levels of language (phonological, morphosyntactic, semantic, and pragmatic). In addition, there is a growing body of literature that focuses on student-initiated joking in L2 classrooms, some of which explicitly uses humor as the construct (; ; ; ), as well as literature that is concerned with the ways in which joking interaction intersects with learning processes (; ; ; ). A key idea that has emerged is the importance of student agency. This article uses an example of joking that was brought to the classroom by a student as part of an ethnographic pedagogy, and it analyses students’ use of joking within a discussion of the critical incident facilitated by the teacher. It is a multi-layered analysis of the use of a critical incident involving cross-cultural joking as part of course content, presenting a discourse analysis of a key class discussion in an adult class on cross-cultural interaction in which student joking interaction coincided with an insight point.

in HUMOR

A multiple baseline across groups design was used to examine the effects of an imagery intervention on perceptions of collective efficacy. Members (n = 10) from an international wheelchair basketball team were separated into three regional intervention groups. Each group completed a 4 week, video-aided, motivational general–mastery (MG-M) type imagery program with team content. Collective efficacy was measured via the Collective Efficacy Inventory (Callow, Hardy, Markland, & Shearer, 2004). Collective efficacy increased for the South group and became more consistent for the Midlands group. No changes were reported for the North group. Social validation measures indicated potential mechanisms via imagery effects on individual perceptions of self-efficacy and then collective efficacy. The results provide partial support for the use of MG-M type imagery interventions to enhance both individual and team perceptions of collective efficacy in elite wheelchair basketball.