Doctoral Researcher Fatehi Erfan

100200 €

Humor’s Changing Landscape: How Globalization Sways, Civilizes, and De-civilizes Humor

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

In the extensive and interdisciplinary domain of globalization research, the role and evolution of humor remain radically underexplored. This project’s goal is to illuminate complex interplays between humor and globalization and fill a major academic gap in the deciphering of humor's role in shaping global and local identities and networks. The project develops a theoretical framework to analyze locally-significant empirical cases. The sociological ideas of Norbert Elias are positioned for the first time within the study of humor and globalization to understand what Elias called ‘civilizing’ and ‘de-civilizing’ processes, understanding these as elements of globalizing, trans-national trends in humor. This infusion promises not only a renewed perspective on these issues but also the introduction of a unique vocabulary to the evolving landscapes of globalization and humor scholarship. Some selected ideas of Herbert Marcuse and Actor-Network Theory are strategically added to this framework as well for offering a broader analytical lens. The research design connects humor in macro-level, global trends to three localized situations: a) the changing nature of ‘de-civilizing’ racial(ized) humor in Estonian and Finnish media landscapes; b) Finnish identitarian groups, as they craft counter-narratives to the liberal norms expressed in mainstream globalized humor, taking them as part of global far-right humor networks which promote de-civilizing trends in what counts as humorous; c) the potentially re-civilizing dynamics of non-Finnish immigrant comedians' professional practice in Finland, seeing how their comedy develops as they reside in the country over time, and how that facilitates or impedes the nature of their social integration into Finnish society. Grounded in qualitative research methods, each segment of this multidisciplinary study utilizes a tailored analytical toolkit, involving content analyses, interviews, and ethnographic methods.