A Matter of Joke and Death

Magdalena Pancewicz


Jokes are as well a part of an everyday life, as a source of knowledge about the society as well. They are not only to amuse but might also integrate groups or societies, inspire reflection, relieve tension, or even point out the incongruities in cosmologies or dogma. Jokes often concern mattes of relationships, religion, politics, or everyday human life, and jokes on death often relate to all of the indicated areas of human existence. Improper as it might seem, joking on death may play an important part in human life. However jokes on such a delicate issue might sometimes be perceived as offensive, a suggestion of investigating the mere idea or image of death underwritten in jokes appears much tempting. Therefore through text and content analysis of approximate 70 jokes on death from a few internet websites, the hidden definition of death was attempted to be reconstructed together with the socially accepted  attitude towards death and its conventions concerning the rites de passage.


jokes; death; rites of passage

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