School and the value of knowledge: Transformations in Belarusian jokes about education

Anastasiya Fiadotava

Abstract


Over the past century Belarus has experienced a dramatic increase in educational level. Obtaining secondary education is now considered normal, getting a university degree is prestigious. However, such an attitude is relatively new to Belarusian society. Joke texts that date back to the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century indicate that formal education was widely considered useless, as it did not equip children with skills they needed in real life. Formal education was often contrasted with learning necessary skills at home, invariably in favour of the latter. In the Soviet era, formal education was made compulsory and suddenly became an integral part of people’s lives, but it still lacked a link with children’s future careers. Parents could not always appreciate the benefits of education, but had to send their children to school anyway.  The clash between the “old” attitude and the “new” reality produced jokes. Jokes that have emerged in the post-Soviet era reflect the omnipresence of education in contemporary Belarusian society. Some school jokes point to a greater understanding of the value of knowledge in modern children―yet it is often not the formal knowledge they are expected to get in school. Overall, school in jokes has become a setting where issues prominent in society at large come to the fore, even if this goes against the will of the educators.


Keywords


joke, education, school, Belarus, folklore

Full Text:

VIEW FULL TEXT HERE

References


Abrahams, R. (1976). ‘The complex relations of simple forms’, in Ben-Amos, D. (ed.), Folklore Genres. Publications of the American Folklore Society. Bibliographical and special series 26. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Achrymienka, P. (1962). Belaruskaja Litaratura i Falklor [Belarusian literature and folklore]. Minsk: Vydavectva Ministerstva adukacyi BSSR.

Akhmetova, M. (2009). ‘“Rasstaemsya s detstvom, v shkole vypusknoj” (vypusknye teksty v postsovetskoj shkole)‘ [“We are parting with childhood, having a graduation ceremony at school...” (texts of graduation ceremonies in the post-Soviet school]. Aktual’nye Problemy Sovremennoj Fol’klorisiki i Izucheniya Klassicheskogo Naslediya Russkoj Literatury. Saint Petersburg: SAGA, pp. 220-232.

Alekseevky, M. (2010). ‘Anekdoty ot Ziuganova: Folklor v sovremennoj politicheskoj bor’be’ [Jokes from Ziuganov: Folklore in modern political struggle]. Antropologicheskij Forum, 12, pp. 1-36. Available at: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/012online/12_online_alekseevsky.pdf.

Arkhipova, A. (2003). ‘Anekdot i ego Prototip: Genesis teksta i formirovanie zhanra’ [The joke and its prototype: the genesis of the text and the formation of the genre]. Moscow: Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities of the Russian State University for the Humanities. Extended synopsis of the PhD thesis.

Arkhipova, A. (2013). Stirlitz Shel po Koridiru: Kak My Pridumyvaem Anekdoty [Stirlitz walked along the hallway: How we come up with anecdotes]. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo RGGU.

Arkhipova, A. & Melnichenko, M. (2011). Anekdoty o Staline: Teksty, Kommentarii, Issledovaniya [Jokes about Stalin: texts, comments, studies]. Moscow: OGI.

Astapova, A. (2012). ‘Contemporary student jokes: The body of texts and their genetic relations.’ Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics 6 (2), 97–117.

Astapova, A. (2016). Sovremennyj Studencheskij Anekdot: Syuzhetnyj Sostav i Tematicheskie Osobennosti [Contemporary student jokes: the body of text and their genetic relations]. Saint Petersburg: Russian Academy of Science, Institute of Russian literature. PhD thesis.

Attardo, S. (2001) Humorous Texts: A Semantic and Pragmatic Analysis. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Belousov, A. (1996). ‘Vovochka’, in Antimir Russkoj Kul’tury. Yazyk, Fol’klor, Literatura. Moscow: Ladomir, рр. 165–186.

Belousov, A. [ed.] (1998). Russkij Shkol’nyj Fol’klor: ot “Vyzyvanij” Pikovoj Damy do Semejnykh Rasskazov [Russian school folklore: from “summoning” the Queen of Spades to family tales]. Moscow: Ladomir; Nazran’: AST.

Bode, V. [interview] (2012). ‘Politicheskie anekdoty kak proyavlenie obshchestvennogo mneniya’ [Political jokes as an indicator of public opinion]. Radio Svoboda. Available at: http://www.svoboda.org/a/24541763.html.

Bronner, S. (2012). ‘The Jewish joke online: Framing and symbolizing humor in analog and digital culture’, in Blank, T.J. (ed.), Folk Culture in the Digital Age: The Emergent Dynamics of Human Interaction. Utah: Utah State University Press, pp. 119–149.

Brunvand, J.H. (1960). ‘Sex in the classroom’. Journal of American Folklore 73 (289), pp. 250–251.

Byaspaly, Z. [ed.] (1970). Belaruskiya Narodnyja Zharty [Belarusian folk jokes]. Minsk: Belarus.

Davies, C. (2011). Jokes and Targets. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Dundes, A. (1996). Sometimes The Dragon Wins: Yet More Urban Folklore From The Paperwork Empire. New York: Syracuse Univ. Press.

Education: Gross enrolment ratio by level of education. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Online: http://data.uis.unesco.org/?queryid=142

Eke, S., Kuzio, T. (2000). ‘Sultanism in Eastern Europe: The socio-political roots of authoritarian populism in Belarus.’ Europe-Asia Studies 52 (3), pp. 523–547.

Encyclopædia Britannica. ‘Dictatorship of the proletariat’. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/dictatorship-of-the-proletariat.

Fiadosik, A. (1971). Trapnym Narodnym Slovam [With a witty folk word]. Minsk: Navuka i tekhnika.

Fiadosik, A. (1978). Prablemy Belaruskaj Narodnaj Satyry [Issues in Belarusian folk satire]. Minsk: Navuka i tekhnika.

Fiadosik, A. [ed.] (2005). Zharty, Anekdoty, Gumareski. [Jokes, anecdotes, witticisms]. Minsk: Belaruskaya Navuka.

Filatava, E. (2006). Konfessional’naya Politika Carskogo Pravitel’stva v Belarusi 1772–1860 gg. [Religious policy of the Tsarist administration in Belarus in 1772–1860]. Minsk: Belaruskaya navuka.

Frio, D. (2012). Classroom Voices on Education and Race: Students Speak from Inside the Belly of the Beast. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.

Frolova, O. (2010). ‘Fol’klornye zhanry: vnetekstovoe prostranstvo i kontekst’ [Folklore genres: extratextual reality and context], in Fol’klor: Tekst i Kontekst, Moscow: State Republican Centre for Russian Folklore, рр. 30–49.

Gilevich, N. (1970). ‘Sila narodnaga smekhu’ [The power of folk laughter], in Byaspaly, Z. (ed.), Belaruskiya Narodnyja Zharty [Belarusian folk jokes]. Minsk: Belarus, pp. 4-5.

Ilchenko, A. & Panchenko, A. (2012) “Kuda vy, shlyukhi?”: geroi sovremennykh anekdotov i migraciya fol’klornykh syuzhetov’ [“Where are you going, sluts?”: the protagonists of contemporary jokes and the migration of folk plots]. Antropologicheskij Forum 12, pp. 333–348. Available at: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/016/16_ilchenko_panchenko.pdf.

‘Joke’. Merriam-Webster.com. Available at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke.

Kabashnikau, K. (1969). Ad Tradycyjnaga Falkloru da Revaliucyjnaj Paezii [From traditional folklore to revolutionary poetry]. Minsk: Navuka i technika,

Kahanouski, G. (1989). Gei, Smali, Stralyaj, Malanka! [Hey, lightning, strike and shoot!], Minsk: Izdatel’stvo CK KPB..

Ken’ka, M. (2009). ‘Da gistoryi belaruskaga anekdota’ [On the history of the Belarusian joke]. Fal’klarystychnyja Dasledavanni 6, рр. 112-120.

Kolyhalov, D. (2010). Vvedenie Vseobshchego Obyazatel’nogo Nachal’nogo Obucheniya v Sovetskoj Rossii v 1923-1941 gg. [The introduction of universal compulsory primary education in the Soviet Russia in 1923-1941]. Available at: http://pspa.ucoz.ru/load/0-0-0-10-20.

Konstantinov, N., Medynsky, E. & Shabaeva, M. (1982). Istoriya Pedagogiki [The history of pedagogy]. Moscow: Prosveshchenie. Available at: http://www.detskiysad.ru/ped/ped121.html.

Kosareva, S. (2010). ‘Osobennosti stanovleniya natsional'nogo samosoznaniya Belorusov vo vtoroy polovine XIX – nachale XX vekov: Sotsial'no-etnicheskiy i obrazovatel'nyj aspekty’ [The peculiarities of Belarusian’s national self-consciousness formation in the second half of the 19th – beginning of the 20th c.: Social-ethnic and educational aspects]. Materialy IV Mezhdunarodnoj molodezhnoj nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii, Vol. 3. Pinsk: PolesGU, pp. 139-141.

Laineste, L. (2013) ‘Can the “stripping of the boss” be more than a joke?’ Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science 47 (4), pp. 482–491.

Leshchenko, N. (2004). ‘A fine instrument: two nation-building strategies in post-Soviet Belarus.’ Nations and Nationalism 10 (3), 333–352.

Lobach, U. (2006). Etnagrafiya Belarusi (lekcyjny kurs) [The ethnography of Belarus (lectures)]. Novopolotsk: PSU. Available at: http://www.psu.by/images/stories/iff/personal/lobach/lobach_etnagrafia.pdf.

Lur’e, V. Detskij anekdot [Children’s jokes]. Available at: http://www.ruthenia.ru/folklore/luriev4.htm.

‘Lyubimye anekdoty!!!’ [Favourite jokes!!!] Available at: http://forum.onliner.by/viewtopic.php?t=1020293.

Markie, P. J. (1994). A Professor's Duties: Ethical Issues in College Teaching. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.

Maslinsky, K. (2013) ‘Shkol’naya disciplina skvoz’ prizmu fol’klora’ [School discipline through the lens of folklore]. Antropologicheskij Forum 19, pp. 176-194. Available at: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/019online/maslinsky.pdf.

Mel’nichenko, M. (2014). Sovetskij Anekdot (Ukazatel’ Syuzhetov) [The Soviet joke: plots classification]. Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie.

‘Narodnaja Adukacyja’ [Folk education]. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Online: http://bse.sci-lib.com/article080147.html.

Nud’ga. G. [ed.] (1957). Ukrains’ka Narodna Satyra i Gumor [Ukrainian folk satire and humour]. Lviv: Knyzhkovo-zhurnal’ne vydavnictvo.

Oring, E. (2008). Engaging Humor. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.

Oring, E. (2012). ‘Jokes on the Internet. Listing towards lists’, in Blank, T.J. (ed.), Folk Culture in the Digital Age: The Emergent Dynamics of Human Interaction. Utah: Utah State University Press, pp. 98–118.

Ozhegov, S. & Shvedova, N. (1998). Tolkovyj slovar’ russkogo yazyka [Russian language dictionary]. Moscow, Azbukovnik.

Perenis’ Naseleniya Respubliki Belarus’ 2009 Goda [2009 population census in Belarus]. National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus. Available at: http://census.belstat.gov.by/pdf/BOOK-ru-RU.pdf.

Pervaya Vseobshchaya Perepis’ Naseleniya Rossijskoj Imperii 1897 g. [First general census of the Russian empire 1897]. Available at: http://demoscope.ru/weekly/ssp/rus_age_97.php?reg=1.

Petrovsky, M. (1925). ‘Anekdot’ [Anecdote], in Literaturnaya Enciclopediya: Slovar’ Literaturnykh terminov: v 2 t. Moscow: Leningrad: Izdatel’stvo L. D. Frenkel. Available at: http://www.endic.ru/lit/Anekdot-218.html.

Rakunov, V. (2011). ‘Gosudarstvennaya politika v sfere shkol’nogo obrazovaniya v 1920-30-kh godakh’ [State policy in the education sphere in the 1920-1930s], in Informacionnyj Gumanitarnyj portal “Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie”. 1. Available at: http://www.zpu-journal.ru/e-zpu/2011/1/Rakunov_Formal_Education/.

Saprykin, D. (2009) Obrazovatel’nyj Potencial Rossijskoj Imperii [The educational potential of the Russian Empire]. Moscow:: IIET RAN. Available at: http://www.ihst.ru/files/saprykin/book-education-pote.pdf.

Severgin, V. (1804). Prodolzhenie Zapisok Puteshestviya po Zapadnym Provinciyam Rossijskogo Gosudarstva [Further notes on the trip around the Western provinces of the Russian state]. Saint Petersburg: the Imperial Academy of Science.

Shmeleva, E. & Shmelev, A. (2005). ‘Russkij anekdot v dvadcat’ pervom veke (transformaciya rechevogo zhanra)’ [Russian jokes in the twenty first century (the transformation of the genre of speech)]. Zhanry Rechi 4, pp. 292-298. Available at: http://www.dialog-21.ru/media/2425/shmelevy.pdf.

Simons, R. D. (1986). ‘The NASA joke cycle: The astronauts and the teacher.’ Western Folklore 45 (3), pp. 261–277.

Suzin, L. [ed.] (1987). Smejcesya Na Zdaroue!: Belaruskiya Narodnyja Zharty, Anekdoty, Gumareski, Smyashinki. [Laugh for good health!: Belarussian folk jokes, anecdotes, witticisms, puns]. Minsk: Izdatel’stvo CK KPB.

‘Svezhij anekdot’ [Fresh joke]. Available at: http://talks.by/showthread.php?t=2532253.

Walker, S. & Barton, L. (2013). Gender, Class and Education. London: Routledge.

Yankouski, M. (1983a). Niekatoryja Asablivasci Paetyki Satyrychna-Gumarystychnych Zhanrau Belaruskaga Falkloru [Some peculiarities in poetics of Belarusian folk humour and satire]. Viesci AN BSSR. Sieryja Gramadskih Navuk 5, pp. 84–89.

Yankouski, M. (1983b). Paetyka Belaruskaj Narodnaj Prozy [The poetics of Belarusian folk prose]. Minsk: Vyshejshaja shkola.

Yarnevsky, I. (1969). Ustnyj Rasskaz kak Zhanr Fol’klora [The oral tale as a folklore genre]. Ulan-Ude: Buryatskoe knizhnoe izdatel’stvo.

Yurchak, A. (1997). ‘The cynical reason of late socialism: Power, pretense, and the anekdot.’ Public Culture 9, pp. 161-188.

Zinovskij, V. (2010). ‘Razmeshcheniye i Sostav Naseleniya Respubliki Belarus' po Dannym Perepisi 2009 g.’ [The localization and structure of the population of the republic of Belarus by the 2009 census data]. Sociologija 3, pp. 111-116.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2017.5.2.fiadotova

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Publication ethics and malpractice statement