Globalisation and ethnic jokes: A new look on an old tradition in Belarus and Estonia

Liisi Laineste, Anastasiya Fiadotava

Abstract


Christie Davies, the renowned humour researcher and a passionate propagator of the comparative method in studying jokes, stressed the necessity of establishing a relationship between two sets of social facts: the jokes themselves on the one hand, and the social structure or cultural traditions wherein they disseminate on the other (Davies 2002: 6). He also inspired others to examine the differences and similarities in the patterns of jokes between different nations, social circumstances and eras. By doing this and building falsifiable models and generalisations of joking relationships, he changed the way we look at and analyse ethnic jokes.

This study returns to earlier findings of Estonian (Laineste 2005, 2009) and Belarusian (Astapova 2015, Zhvaleuskaya 2013, 2015) ethnic jokes and takes a look at new trends in fresh data. Starting with the jokes from the end of the 19th century and ending with the most recent jokes, memes and other humorous items shared over the Internet, the paper will give an overview of how social reality interacts with the rules of target choice, above all describing the effect of globalisation on jokelore.


Keywords


ethnic humour, Belarus, Estonia, jokes as social facts, Internet, memes

Full Text:

VIEW FULL TEXT HERE

References


Astapova, A. (2015). ‘Political cartoon at the service of West Belarusian left wing movement: The journal “Malanka” (1926–28)’, Journal of Belarusian Studies 7(3), pp. 7−41.

Boxman-Shabtai, L. & Shifman, L. (2015). ‘When ethnic humor goes digital’. New Media & Society 17(4), pp. 520–539.

Chicherov, V. I. (1959). Russkoe narodnoe tvorchestvo [‘Russian folk art’]. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo Moskovskogo Universiteta.

Chodakiewicz, M. J. (2012). Intermarium: The land between the Black and Baltic Seas. New Brunswick & London: Transaction Publishers.

Davies, C. (1982). ‘Ethnic jokes, moral values and social boundaries’. The British Journal of Sociology 33 (3), pp. 384-403.

Davies, C. (1987). ‘Language, identity, and ethnic jokes about stupidity’. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 65, pp. 39-52.

Davies, C. (1990). Ethnic Humor Around the World: A Comparative Analysis. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Davies, C. (1991). ‘Fooltowns: Traditional and modern, local, regional and ethnic jokes about stupidity’, in Bennett, G. (ed.), Spoken in Jest. The Folklore Society Mistleose Series 21. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, pp. 215–235.

Davies, C. (1998). Jokes and their Relation to the Society. Humour Research Series. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Davies, C. (1999). ‘Change and continuity in one of Europe’s oldest comic ethnic scripts’. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 12 (1), pp. 1–31.

Davies, C. (2002). The Mirth of Nations. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

Davies, C. (2003). ‘Jokes that follow mass-mediated disasters in a global electronic age, in Narvaez, P. (ed.), Of Corpse: Death and Humor in Folklore and Popular Culture. Logan: Utah State University Press, pp. 15–34.

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

Davies, C. (2016). ‘Constructing and testing hypotheses on the basis of international comparisons: the case of the Stupidity Joke’. Lecture delivered at the 16th International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications, Brasov, Romania, July 4–9.

Eisen, Matthias J. (1909/2003). Eesti Rahvanali. [‘Estonian Folk Joke’]. Retrieved 20 October 2017 from http://www.folklore.ee/rl/pubte/ee/vanad/eisen/ernali/sisu.html.

Famichova, N. (2011). ‘Mounyja srodki vyrazhennya kamichnaga u belaruskim gumarystychnym fal'klory’ [‘Linguistic means of comic representation in Belarusian humorous folklore], Belaruskaya Lingvistika 67 (1), pp. 140–145.

Fine, G. & Soucey, M. (2005). ‘Joking cultures: Humor themes as social regulation in group life’, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 18 (1), pp. 1–22.

Järviö-Nieminen, I. (1959). ‘Suomalaiset sanomukset’ [‘Finnish Wellerisms’]. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran toimituksia 259. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura.

Karpovich, O. & Gil’, V. (2008). ‘Vse v Avciuki!’ [‘Let everybody go to Auciuki!’]. August 2. Sovetskaya Belorussiya- Belarus Segodnya. Retrieved 19 October 2017 from https://www.sb.by/articles/vse-v-avtyuki.html?delete_comment_id=

Krikmann, A. (2007). ‘Soviet and Baltic nationalities as ethnic targets in contemporary Russian jokes’. A paper presented to the ISHS 19th Annual Conference hosted by Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island, July 1; Retrieved 20 October 2017 from http://www.folklore.ee/~kriku/HUUMOR/Nlj_pribalts.pdf

Krikmann, A. (2008). ‘“ATU” Jokes: Old and Abandoned’. A paper presented to the ISHS 20th annual conference hosted by the University of Alcala, Alcala de Henares, Madrid, July 7–11. Retrieved 20 October 2017 from http://haldjas.folklore.ee/~kriku/HUUMOR/KRIKMANN_ATU_ready.pdf.

Kuipers G. (2002). ‘Media culture and Internet disaster jokes: Bin Laden and the attack on the World Trade Center’, European Journal of Cultural Studies 5(4), pp. 450–470.

Kuipers G. (2006). ‘The social construction of digital danger: debating, defusing and inflating the moral dangers of online humor and pornography in the Netherlands and the United States’, New Media & Society 8(3), pp. 379–400.

Kuipers G. & van der Ent, B. (2016). ‘The seriousness of ethnic jokes: Ethnic humor and social change in the Netherlands, 1995-2012’, Humor: : International Journal of Humor Research 29 (4), pp. 605–633.

Laineste, L. & Voolaid, P. (2016). ‘We believe! Online representations of the Olympic winner as a mythic hero’, Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore 54, pp. 9–38.

Laineste, L. (2005). ‘Targets of Estonian ethnic jokes within the theory of ethnic humour (C. Davies)’, Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore 29, pp. 7–24.

Laineste, L. (2009). ‘Politics of joking: Ethnic jokes and their targets in Estonia (1890s-2007)’, Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore 40, pp. 117–146.

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

Roosa, A. (2016). Hiidlase vähene naljaraamand [‘Little Hiiu Joke Book’]. Kärdla: MTÜ Hiiu Öko.

Schutz C. (1989). ‘The sociability of ethnic jokes’, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 2(2), pp. 165–177.

Serzhputovsky, A. (1911). Skazki i rasskazy belorusov-poleshukov: (materialy r izucheniyu tvorchestva belorusov i ih govora) [‘Tales and stories of Belarusian Poleshuks: (Data for studying Belarusians’ art and sheech)’]. Saint Petersburg: Otdelenie russkogo yazyka i slovesnosti Imperatorskoj Akademii nauk.

Shein, P. (1893). Materialy dlya izucheniya byta i yazyka russkogo naseleniya Severo-Zapadnogo kraya [‘Materials for the Studies of the Ways of Life and Language of the North-Western Region Russian population’]. Vol. 2. Saint Petersburg: Tipogragija Imperatorskoj Akademii nauk.

Shifman, L. (2007). ‘Humor in the age of digital reproduction: Continuity and change in internet-based comic texts’, International Journal of Communication 1(1), pp. 187–209.

Tuisk, A. (2010). ‘Kolme rahva anekdoodid lastepärimuses: viisteist aastat hiljem’ [‘Three nation jokes in children’s lore: fifteen years later’], in Kalmre, E. (ed.). Tulnukad ja internetilapsed. Uurimusi laste- ja noortepärimusest [‘UFOs and Internet children. Studies on children’s and teen’s lore’]. Tartu: EKM Teaduskirjastus. (Tänapäeva folkloorist; VIII), pp. 163−186

Wickberg, D. (1998) The Senses of Humour: Self and Laughter in Modern America. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Zhvaleuskaya, A. (2013). ‘Specyfika vykarystannya etnichnyh zhartau u etnalagichnym dasledavanni’ [‘Reflections on the ethnological study of ethnic jokes’], Pytanni mastactvaznaustva, etnalogii i fal’klora [Journal of art history, ethnology, and folkloristics]15, pp. 281–285.

Zhvaleuskaya, A. (2015). ‘Etnichnyja zharty yak nemateryjal’naya kul’turnaya spadchyna belarusau: suchasnyja transfarmacyi’. [‘Ethnic jokes as Belarusians’ intangible cultural heritage: modern transformations’]. Evropa-2014: gumanitarnoe znanie mezhdu proshlym i budushchim [Europe 2014: Humanities Between Past and Future]. Vilnius: EGU, pp. 251-260.

Zinovsky, V. I. et al. [eds.] (2011). Nacional’nyj sostav naseleniya Respubliki Belarus’: statisticheskij sbornik [‘Ethnic composition of the population of the Republic of Belarus: Statistical book’]. Minsk: Nacional’nyj statisticheskij komitet Respubliki Belarus’.




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

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Publication ethics and malpractice statement