Pragmatic analysis of racial humor in online discourse
Keywords:humor, online discourse, racial jokes, superiority humor, superiority resolution
The present paper aims to investigate how racial humor is triggered in racial jokes posted online. Racial jokes and the ways it is triggered is an under-researched topic in comparison to the quickly developing literature about other types of racist language. Thus, one of the main problems this thesis attempt to address is English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) users’ potential lack of awareness of the racially sensitive issues and how to deal with them in (online) intercultural communication. The paper analyzes (312) racial jokes, collected from eight different racial Joke accounts on Twitter. After in-depth reading and a systematic coding process of the dataset, three types of racial jokes were distinguished. These are superiority-based triggers, incongruity-based triggers, and blended triggers. These three different types were found to perform two different functions: racial stereotype reinforcement and racial stereotype challenge.
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