Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Anthropology of humor Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Anthropology of humor - Assignment Example Humor is a part of our day-to-day life and people use humor while conversing, imagining, and observing. Humor is also beneficial as it gives social, psychological, and material advantages to the persons who make humor. Humor is soothing for pain, grief, anxiety, and nervousness. Mcgraw and Warren are of the view that â€Å"humor is a positive and adaptive response to benign violations. Humor provides a healthy and socially beneficial way to react to hypothetical threats, remote concerns, minor setbacks, social faux pas, cultural misunderstandings, and other benign violations people encounter on a regular basis. Humor also serves a valuable communicative function† (1148). Humor whatever may it be is not innocent; it reveals as much as it hides. Also, humor does not actually produce aggression, it is not unrelated to aggression. Gruner, Humor and Aggression There have been so many attempts by philosophers, scientists, critical theorists, and comedians to theorize humor and delin eate its intricacies. There are several theories, which try to interpret humor. What is humor? What is its social function? What ought to be considered as humor? Humor theorists have tried to find answers to all the above questions and beyond. These theories try to understand all sorts of humor by assuming some antecedents, like incongruity, tension release (Freud) or superiority (Gruner). However, the problem with them is that they speculate humor as an outcome of some tragedies. According to Gruner, â€Å"[p]rostitution could serve as the subject matter in a joke in order to make fun of others besides the girl and her client† (122). Humor, even it is on some people only, is always related to the society as a whole. Therefore, humor could reveal the social unconscious and the traces of repressed aggression within it. Many times, apparently, â€Å"the subject matter is sex [of humor], but the object of ridicule the conceited nature of both a young man and a young womanâ€⠄¢ (italics original) (Gruner, 126). Certainly, humor is an attack, a rebellion against the conceited nature of transactions in a non-transparent society. Charles R Gruner has offered a deep-going superiority theory of humor. He has contributed a lot in conceptualizing the humor. The central theme of Gruner’s theoretical formulation regarding the complexities of humor is that ‘much sexual humor is can also profit in humorousness by its active ingredient of aggression. That is, if both aggression and sexual content each make for good jokes, a combination of the two adds up to double enjoyment.† (emphasis original) (127). He equates humor with a game and firmly believes that there are winners, losers, and spectators in humor. Gruner is of the view that ‘sexual humor is one of the most prevalent and best-enjoyed kinds of humor† (127). Gruner's Superiority Theory of Humor has three fundamental assumptions. First, in the entire humorous situation there will be a winner and a loser. This notion is compatible with the human nature. Gruner believes that human beings are always competitive in their mind. In addition, humor has substituted the actual fight. Through humor people are competing with each other for hundreds of years. The winner, in Gruner’s notion, always makes fun of the loser. If we go to any talk show there we find comedians, who winners, making fun of politicians and elites, who are considered as losers.

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