Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: "A discourse analysis approach to the social functions of humour, with reference to the political panel discussion programme, Question Time"
Author: Roberts, Claire Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 0173
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2008
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Humour has often been overlooked as a serious subject of study, but humour studies is a growing area of multidisciplinary research, of which one contributing discipline is linguistics. Much of the focus to date has been on identifying the mechanisms that trigger humour in self-contained joke texts. This thesis is part of a growing shift in focus towards studying (a) spontaneous, situational humour analysed in context, and (b) function rather than form. The literature on the social functions of humour is reviewed, and a new model proposed as an analytical framework. The model features five main functions of humour, which relate, respectively, to (i) amusement, (ii) social relations, (iii) self-presentation, (iv) representation and (v) the managing of the on-going action. Whereas the first four functions are largely drawn from the literature (albeit in a modified form), the latter function has been inadequately investigated to date, and its inclusion in the model is informed by the analysis. The data is taken from Question Time, a BBC political panel discussion programme, and a theoretical framework specific to the data is drawn from media studies and research on mediatised politics. Instances of linguistic humour are identified and analysed utilising a range of analytical concepts from various different areas of linguistics, such as discourse analysis, pragmatics, Politeness Theory and Conversation Analysis. The model is applied to the data, and consideration is given to how each of the five functions are manifest in this specific genre. Conclusions are drawn as to the nature of humour in Question Time, and related to themes drawn from the theoretical framework, including the role of humour in staged debate, the use of humour by politicians for the purposes of self-presentation, and the role of entertainment in mediatised politics. Two recurring themes throughout the thesis are the multi functionality of humorous utterances, and the importance of situating humour in all levels of context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available