Laughing Matters: When Humor Is Meaningful

Friedman, H. H. and Friedman, L.W. (2019). Journal of Intercultural Management and Ethics, Issue no. 4, 55-72.

25 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2019 Last revised: 22 Dec 2019

See all articles by Hershey H. Friedman

Hershey H. Friedman

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Linda Weiser Friedman

Baruch College, CUNY - Zicklin School of Business; CUNY - The Graduate Center

Date Written: July 12, 2019

Abstract

While humor can perpetuate and preserve stereotypes, it also can redress a wide variety of prejudices and preconceptions. This paper offers several examples of positive humor. Humor can serve as a teaching tool to reduce stress and make people receptive to serious subjects that range from statistical analysis to social justice. It can also tie people together, give psychological strength to victims, and enable them to rise above despair and hopelessness. It can even enhance teamwork in the workplace. Of course, the wrong kind of humor can be a negative, causing irreparable harm to people. In a nutshell, humor is not a laughing matter and should be taken seriously.

Keywords: Humor, Biblical humor, social justice, getting even, humor and stress, African-American slaves

JEL Classification: J50, M12, M14, M54

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Hershey H. and Friedman, Linda Weiser, Laughing Matters: When Humor Is Meaningful (July 12, 2019). Friedman, H. H. and Friedman, L.W. (2019). Journal of Intercultural Management and Ethics, Issue no. 4, 55-72.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3418980 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3418980

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York ( email )

Linda Weiser Friedman

Baruch College, CUNY - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cisnet.baruch.cuny.edu/friedman/

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