Humor as interactional affordances

An ecological perspective on humor in social interaction

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Resumé

In adopting new theoretical advancements within linguistics and ecological psychology,
this paper investigates humor from an ecological perspective in naturally occurring social
interaction. In doing so, it is claimed that the notions of language as coordination and
values-realizing can provide a new understanding of humor as it appears in human
interaction. This argument will be unfolded as a rethinking of Wallace Chafe’s notion
of nonseriousness (Chafe, 2007) that re-conceptualizes Chafe’s idea of a ‘mental state’
of nonseriousness in terms of interactional affordances and values realizing. This
perspective is laid out in in-depth analyses of video recordings of two real-life examples
from different settings: two siblings playing and a sequence from a couple-therapy
session. It is claimed that both examples of interactional humor can be explained by
re-conceptualizing humor as a distinct way of being together. Thus, the emergence
of humor is enabled by a shift in the coordinative dynamics rather than by a transfer
of semantic ‘content’ from a speaker to a hearer. Finally, humor is investigated as
a temporal phenomenon integrating immediate ’here-and-now’ environmental features
with socio-cultural expectations on a longer time-scale. In this way humor is viewed
as a particular type of values-realizing activity that constrains our actions, re-directs
our attention, and thereby enables us to act in a more playful and joyous manner.
Key words: social interaction, humor, affordances, interpersonal coordination, values
realizing
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPsychology of Language and Communication
Vol/bind22
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)238-259
ISSN1234-2238
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 15. aug. 2018

Fingeraftryk

Video recording
Wit and Humor
humor
Linguistics
Semantics
interaction
Video Recording
Affordances
Social Interaction
Interaction
video recording
Siblings
Values
Language
psychology
semantics
linguistics
language

Citer dette

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abstract = "In adopting new theoretical advancements within linguistics and ecological psychology,this paper investigates humor from an ecological perspective in naturally occurring socialinteraction. In doing so, it is claimed that the notions of language as coordination andvalues-realizing can provide a new understanding of humor as it appears in humaninteraction. This argument will be unfolded as a rethinking of Wallace Chafe’s notionof nonseriousness (Chafe, 2007) that re-conceptualizes Chafe’s idea of a ‘mental state’of nonseriousness in terms of interactional affordances and values realizing. Thisperspective is laid out in in-depth analyses of video recordings of two real-life examplesfrom different settings: two siblings playing and a sequence from a couple-therapysession. It is claimed that both examples of interactional humor can be explained byre-conceptualizing humor as a distinct way of being together. Thus, the emergenceof humor is enabled by a shift in the coordinative dynamics rather than by a transferof semantic ‘content’ from a speaker to a hearer. Finally, humor is investigated asa temporal phenomenon integrating immediate ’here-and-now’ environmental featureswith socio-cultural expectations on a longer time-scale. In this way humor is viewedas a particular type of values-realizing activity that constrains our actions, re-directsour attention, and thereby enables us to act in a more playful and joyous manner.Key words: social interaction, humor, affordances, interpersonal coordination, valuesrealizing",
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Humor as interactional affordances : An ecological perspective on humor in social interaction. / Jensen, Thomas Wiben.

I: Psychology of Language and Communication, Bind 22, Nr. 1, 15.08.2018, s. 238-259.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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