The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 1, No 2 (2013)

Can ethnic humour appreciation be influenced by political reasons? A comparative study of the Basque Country and Calalonia

Carmelo Moreno


The aim of this paper is to compare the appreciation of humor that a sample of citizens in Spain has expressed about two different types of ethnic humor produced by two successful television programs from two autonomous communities in Spain: the Basque Country and Catalonia. Both regions are well-known in the Spanish society for their specific cultural and political features, which are seen as different from the rest of the country. To some extent, their particular character is fixed in the Spanish collective imaginary by some particular stereotypes, represented in stupidity and canniness jokes, following the model investigated by Christie Davies. In contrast to these jokes, the present study focuses on the ethnic humor circulated in these two regions, a kind of humor that is based on their specific identity and where it is possible to combine elements of self-deprecating humor and elements of aggressive humor towards Spain. More specifically, this work tries to test if the political background that these two regions represent in Spain –societies that dares the cohesion of the Spanish identity, even fighting for nationalist recognitions of political rights- could influence or not in the appreciation that the Spanish citizens as a whole have of this ethnic humor that Basques and Catalans produce.


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