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Title: Dying to be funny : the sociological significance of (un)successful live performance humour
Author: Barton, Carl
ISNI:       0000 0001 3449 7738
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis is a study of the success and failure of performers who aim to earn a living from intentionally making people in a live audience laugh. A fundamental aim of the study is to establish the sociological significance of live performance humour as social practice. Hence the emphasis of the research is to demonstrate the influence of non-performance and performance factors in the production of (un)successful live performance humour, rather than the influence of psychological factors that relate to positive (laughter) or negative responses of individual subjects to humorous stimuli contained within a performer's joking material. The study will show (un)successful live performance humour to be determined by the complexity of component factors involved in the construction of a social context for live performance humour. The thesis develops a definition of social context that refers specifically to venue settings rather than everyday social situations, which allows individuals participating in it to identify themselves as either a live performer of humour, or a member of a live audience to a live performance of humour. The social context of a venue setting is established on the interaction between; a 'live' audience as a social group (rather than a collection of individuals receiving humorous stimuli); a live performance in proximity to a live audience; and individual physical and social factors that exist within the physical and social environments of a venue setting. The sociological significance of (un)successful live performance humour is put forward on the basis of research which utilises macro- and micro-levels of analysis to show success or failure to be dependent upon more than the competence of performers - it is to show that the social context for live performance humour is a determining influence in the production of (un)successful live performance humour as social practice
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available