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HUMOR

International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.660
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.059

CiteScore 2017: 1.27

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.415
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.228

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ISSN
1613-3722
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Volume 22, Issue 1-2

Issues

Humor theory and the fear of being laughed at

Christie Davies
Published Online: 2009-02-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HUMR.2009.003

Abstract

Systematic empirical research into the extent to which individuals in different societies fear being laughed at is new and has implications for humor theory. Humor theorists such as Hobbes and Bergson implicitly assume that such fears were generally at a high level and both Hobbes' superiority theory of laughter and Bergson's view of it as a social corrective depend on this assumption. They purport to be general theories but are in fact the product of the particular societies in which those philosophers' lived and whose mores they took for granted. However, we can use their work to generate hypotheses that can in the future be tested against the comparative empirical data now being produced. In particular we should pay attention is the social variables of shame, face, etiquette and embarrassment on the one hand, and hierarchy, status divisions and power on the other, as probably having explanatory power.

Keywords:: Bergson; conformity; face; fear; hierarchy; Hobbes; humor theory; laughter; shame

About the article


Published Online: 2009-02-13

Published in Print: 2009-02-01


Citation Information: Humor - International Journal of Humor Research, Volume 22, Issue 1-2, Pages 49–62, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HUMR.2009.003.

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