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
Date Written: July 12, 2019
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: Suggested Citation