Irreverence in Irish Culture
Edited By Agnès Maillot, Jennifer Bruen and Jean-Philippe Imbert
Humour, by its very nature controversial, plays an important role in social interaction. With its power to question assumptions, it can be used a weapon of subversion, and its meaning and interpretation are embedded within the culture that generates them in complex ways. The scrutiny of Irish culture through the lens of humour is highly revealing, contributing to an alternative, and sometimes irreverent, reading of events. As John Updike wrote of Raymond Queneau’s witty re-imagining of the Easter Rising, humour can effectively expose «casual ambivalence».
This volume investigates the many ways in which writers, playwrights, politicians, historians, filmmakers, artists and activists have used irreverence and humour to look at aspects of Irish culture and explore the contradictions and shortcomings of the society in which they live.
3 Humour, Satire & Counter-Discourse around Ireland’s 2015 Marriage Referendum Online: An Analysis of #marref (Dónal Mulligan)
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3 Humour, Satire & Counter-Discourse around Ireland’s 2015 Marriage Referendum Online: An Analysis of #marref
The study of Twitter-based discourses, facilitated by access to enormous quantities of constituent big data1 capable of being analysed by computational tools and methods, represents a new methodological frontier replete with intriguing opportunities and challenges for communication researchers. The field is at a very early stage of development, positioned at an interdisciplinary nexus of communications studies, political science, sociology, and computer science, with theoretical approaches and methods from all of these being deployed. Studies from these various academic standpoints have already begun to demonstrate the rich potential of analysing Twitter discourses, but no sense of ‘best practice’ has emerged for the field. The literature is dominated by studies premised on quantitative analyses of Twitter participation and interaction, reliant on simple metrics of tweeting, retweeting, replying, and following to supply supporting data for investigations largely centred on specific electoral events.2 These studies use available data from Twitter to conduct meta-analyses, descriptive of the ← 55 | 56 → communicative trends to and from, but often not between or within, identified publics. This study proposes to specifically examine the use of satire and parody in the mediated space of Twitter discourse of the 2015 Marriage Referendum in Ireland (tagged #marref), bringing qualitative insight via interviewing of participants, on patterns of communicative interaction and use of humorous and satirical content detected in the Twitter data. The nature of the event discussed...
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