Laughing Matters: When Humor Is Meaningful

25 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2019

See all articles by Hershey H. Friedman

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management

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). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3418980 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3418980

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Department of Business Management ( 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/

CUNY - The Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue
New York,, NY 10016
United States

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