'We all enjoy a good joke but we seldom take humour seriously, examining its role in expressing our anxieties and attitudes to life. This collection of essays, skilfully put together by Sharon Lockyer and Michael Pickering, will not dampen your spirits but cause you to "stop and think" about the place of the joke - and humour generally - in contemporary society.' - Geoff Lealand, Associate Professor of Screen and Media Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand
'Beyond A Joke is a timely reminder that cultural analysis can illuminate how the best and worst comedy find their mark on the faultlines of society. This superb collection of essays is indispensable for understanding why debates about humour are central to the politics of public expression.' - Simon Cross, Lecturer in Communication, Culture & Media, Nottingham Trent University, UK
This is a serious book about a serious and important topic. Jokes must be permitted in order to be funny - but are all jokes permissible? What about violently racist jokes, or subtle sexism in television sitcoms? The contributors to this volume explore the ethics of humour, from Sex and the City to the Alf Garnett syndrome. They reject the just a joke excuse for the dodge that it is, but humour gets its own back by refusing to be pinned down with easy answers. Moira Smith, editor of the Journal of Folklore Research
About the Author
SHARON LOCKYER is Lecturer in Sociology and Communications at Brunel University, UK. She has written on the ethics of humour and was the recipient of the International Society for Humor Studies Emerging Scholar Award 2004.
MICHAEL PICKERING is Professor of Media and Cultural Analysis at Loughborough University, UK. His most recent publications include History, Experience and Cultural Studies (1997), Stereotyping: The Politics of Representation (2001), Creativity, Communication and Cultural Value (2004, with Keith Negus), Blackface Minstrelsy in Britain (2008) and Research Methods for Cultural Studies (2008).