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Teasing, laughing and disciplinary humor: Staff-youth interaction in detention home treatment
Linköping University.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2013 (English)In: Discourse Studies, ISSN 1461-4456, E-ISSN 1461-7080, Vol. 15, no 2, 167-183 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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
2013. Vol. 15, no 2, 167-183 p.
Keyword [sv]
Detention homes, disciplinary humor, discipline, laughter, social order, teasing, youth
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85523DOI: 10.1177/1461445612471469ISI: 000329071000003OAI: diva2:583991
Available from: 2013-01-08 Created: 2013-01-08 Last updated: 2014-01-20Bibliographically approved

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Aronsson, Karin
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ReferencesLink to record
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