“This is not a political party, this is Facebook!”: Political jokes and political (mis)trust in crisis-ridden Greece

Villy Tsakona

Abstract


The present study attempts to combine Raskin’s (1985) and Davies’ (2011) methodological approaches to political jokes to investigate Greek political jokes targeting politicians and circulated during the first 4 years of the Greek crisis. The proposed analysis identifies, on the one hand, what Greek people perceive as politicians’ main incongruities, namely their flaws that prevent them from fulfilling their roles ‘appropriately’. On the other hand, the particularities of the sociopolitical context in Greece and, most importantly, the pervasive lack of political trust among Greeks allow for an interpretation of the jokes under scrutiny as expressions of disillusionment and disappointment with politicians and the political system in general, and as manifestations of mild, playful aggression towards them. The findings of the study reveal that the accusations raised in the jokes against politicians capture and reproduce quite accurately most of the aspects and causes of political mistrust in Greece.


Keywords


political jokes; political trust; politicians; Greek crisis; incongruity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2017.5.4.tsakona

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