Teasing, laughing and disciplinary humor: Staff-youth interaction in detention home treatment
2013 (English)In: Discourse Studies, ISSN 1461-4456, E-ISSN 1461-7080, Vol. 15, no 2, 167-183 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This study explores how disciplinary humor is deployed to shape and reshape social order in inter-generational encounters. Data are drawn from an ethnographic study of staff–resident encounters at a treatment home for boys (including about 30 hours of video recordings), focusing on sequential patterns in the local design of jokes and teasing, analyzing language and multimodal interaction in detail. It was found that staff and boys recurrently laughed together and teased each other by invoking local hierarchical positions such as child–adult. The intrinsic ambiguity of humor and teasing allowed staff members to engage in temporary breaches of social order, while simultaneously enforcing local rules of conduct. Similarly, the boys would joke with the staff, exaggerating or transgressing institutional and generational divides. But ultimately, the joking could also be seen to remind the participants of the very hierarchies that separate staff from residents and men from boys, or adults from children.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 15, no 2, 167-183 p.
Detention homes, disciplinary humor, discipline, laughter, social order, teasing, youth
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90251DOI: 10.1177/1461445612471469ISI: 000329071000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-90251DiVA: diva2:612621