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Humour Essay


Humour has been defined as a form of assembling behaviour and regularities in a society to make people laugh. Humour has been said to constitute two opposing realities. The social diversity between different people is a key indicator of what to be considered humorous.

There many situations which generate humour to different individuals depending on the cultural background. It has also been said that age and gender plays an increasingly influencing role in identifying the response of people on different jokes (Oropeza-Escobar, M. 2011).

Functions of joking

Since humour applies to different cultural and social group, it has been said to have a sole function of enhancing class interactions. Joking creates a relationship whereby two individual or groups of people become free to exchange any form of communication. Humour has a vital function, which it makes sure that potentially disruptive sentiments are contained through a joking way.

In other words, what may appear to be a sensitive issue may be discussed without being serious. It serves like a defence in situations when a person makes a controversial statement than simply asserting it was to be a joke. Secondly, humour is also used as an expression of a common identity whereby a person makes fun of a situation he/she is experiencing.

Humour can also be extended to circumstances whereby a feeling of free interaction is desired. This mostly happens in a working environment when new workers meet. It can also be used when unfamiliar people have met. Jokes are highly effective in making sure that what seemed boring is given a twist, and everyone gets involved in the discussion (Macionis & Gerber, 2011).

Comedy as serious

It is essential to note that humour has been used, and it is still being used to put people down. These types of humour are extremely common in almost every society and cross cultural societies. Men have used jokes to express hostility towards women. Similar jokes have also been used to make fun of the gay’s sexual orientations.

Ethnic conflicts have been held to be one of the leading forces behind jokes. Jokes are analysed in different forms according to the aim of a certain joke. There are ethnic jokes, which make fun of certain ethnic characters (Oropeza-Escobar, 2011).

Classical theories

There are three categories of jokes which clearly define and classify jokes. First, humour is said to be an expression of supremacy. This means that the function stands for a hostile and cruel classification of others in most unjust and unfair ways in order to assert a supreme status. It sometimes entails making fun of disabled people and the social justice system.

Secondly, jokes can also be used to relieve tension. The relief may also be used to find an appropriate way of dealing with problems by establishing a creative way of solving them. It can also be pegged with the desire to get pleasure. Lastly, incongruity has been said to exist when a person creates a gap between people’s expectations and the present situation (Macionis & Gerber, 2011).


Jokes have been widely used in the pasty to send different messages and to serve different functions. The most influencing factor in whichever type of joke made is the cultural group. It has been established that what may be interpreted as funny by one group may not necessarily be funny to all groups. In the past, there are numerous functions, which have made jokes popular and widely applicable in day to day interactions.


Macionis, J. J., & Gerber, L. M. (2011). Sociology. Toronto: Pearson Canada.

Oropeza-Escobar, M. (2011). Represented discourse, resonance and stance in joking interaction in Mexican Spanish. Amsterdam [u.a.: Benjamins].

This Essay on Humour was written and submitted by user Aaden Combs to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Aaden Combs studied at the University of Kentucky, USA, with average GPA 3.3 out of 4.0.

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Combs, A. (2019, December 15). Humour [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Work Cited

Combs, Aaden. "Humour." IvyPanda, 15 Dec. 2019,

1. Aaden Combs. "Humour." IvyPanda (blog), December 15, 2019.


Combs, Aaden. "Humour." IvyPanda (blog), December 15, 2019.


Combs, Aaden. 2019. "Humour." IvyPanda (blog), December 15, 2019.


Combs, A. (2019) 'Humour'. IvyPanda, 15 December.

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