The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 11, No 1 (2023)

Towards a typology of humorous wartime tweets: the case of Ukraine 2022

Olesia Yehorova,Antonina Prokopenko,Anna Zinchenko



The idea of this research was born on 26 May 2022. The following day, we saw Elon Musk’s tweet from 26 May 2022: ‘Politics is a sadness generator’. We accepted the challenge to refute the statement and to prove that there is much space for humour in the political discourse. The study focuses on humorous tweets produced in the period of the first 100 days of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and the criteria according to which they may be classified for further analysis. The literature overview proves that humour has been extensively approached by different researchers from a multidisciplinary perspective; in particular, numerous attempts were made to classify humour and its manifestations. In this research, we approached the Twitter activity of Ukrainian politicians as fragments of political discourse. In particular, we extracted humorous tweets and organised a sample that underwent further categorisation and interpretation with reference to existing typologies and theories of humour. The study discusses the roles the politicians assume while producing and spreading humour on Twitter, features the key subject fields and objects of ridicule in the wartime tweets, gives an insight into the communicative value of such tweets and suggests potential readership classes. Finally, the study seeks to prove the flexibility and adaptability of humour styles to the socio-political context and wartime communication that project public aggressiveness, self-relief and self-enhancement




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