Stilisierungen, Identitäten, mediale Ressourcen
Edited By Helga Kotthoff and Christine Mertzlufft
Race/Ethnicity, Religion and Stereotypes: Disparagement Humor and Identity Constructions in the College Fraternity
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Race/Ethnicity, Religion and Stereotypes: Disparagement Humor and Identity Construction in the College Fraternity
Chase Wesley Raymond
The college fraternity is a socially complex organization on which comparatively little empirical research has been performed. The present study analyzes racial/ethnic and religious disparagement humor as used by the members of such a group of men. While previous explanations of these forms of humor in general American society emphasize self-censorship in diverse (culturally, ethnically, racially, religiously) settings, our findings show that the opposite seems to be true within the context of the fraternity studied here. In any given interaction amongst fraternity members, the more complex the racial and religious identity makeup of the participants, the more likely some form of disparagement humor will enter the conversation. Through an ethnography of communication approach, it is demonstrated that labeling and self-labeling of identity play a role in how this process is carried out, internal heterogeneities being highlighted as a means for (re-)creating the fraternity’s overarching homogeneous identity.
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