The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 9, No 4 (2021)

Lubricating culture awareness and critical thinking through humour

Aleksandar Takovski


There is an ample evidence supporting the benefits of instructional humour, among which increased attention and interest, information retention and learning speed, more productive learning environment, a more positive image of the instructor, more efficient acquisition of linguistic and cultural competencies, an increased conversational involvement, enhanced cultural awareness and more stimulated critical thinking. However, most of the research findings rely on what is termed appropriate humor such as puns, jokes, anecdotes and alike, while potentially offensive humour that relates to sexual, ethnic, religious, political identity is generally labeled inappropriate and advised to be avoided in the classroom environment. It is in this particular context that this study seeks to test the potential of such humour, sexual and ethnic in particular, to act as a tool of increasing cultural awareness and stimulate critical thinking among university students. To do so, the study relies on an experimental class design combining few in-class and extracurricular activities created by using sexual and ethnic humour samples.


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