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Limits of humor: the discursive functioning of the controversy

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Alan Lobo de Souza
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Sírio Possenti; Ana Cristina Carmelino; Anna Flora Brunelli; Suzy Maria Lagazzi; Márcio Antônio Gatti
Advisor: Sírio Possenti

In this thesis, I aim to examine the debate about the limits of humor from the statements of the readers published in the section "Comments" in electronic versions of four printed newspapers which, in a virtual environment, are the most accessed and with the largest amount of comments in their columns. They are: the Brazilian electronic newspapers, Estadão e Folha, and two of the largest French newspapers, Le Monde and Le Figaro. The analysis comprises two controversial cases: the debate on the publications of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in which there is a discussion sustained by a crossing of the political and religious discourses in the relation between limits and freedom of expression in the humor; And in Brazil, the case Rafinha Bastos - a case less emblematic when compared to the French case - fueled by the discussion around the limits (attributed to the speech of the politically correct) and freedom of expression. The choice for the comments, rather than the columns dedicated to the cases, is mainly due to the observation that the debate about humor is generated from the constant confrontation observed in the comments in electronic media. I defend the hypothesis that the public sphere, thus cut in the space of the commentary, is the place in which the controversy manifests itself in contemporaneity. The point in common to the cases is the discussion around what does not make them laugh. And this controversy unfolds in two distinct debates: on the one hand, the attempt to define what is humor (having or not, fun is one of the arguments used by a certain group of commentators), on the other hand, the questioning that this Humor should have limits (that is, whether it should be released at certain times, to which audience, to explore which themes or if certain themes can become jokes). After describing and analyzing these debates, I was able to understand that the practices that build and maintain the collective imagination in relation to the limits of the humor act articulate in different ways: on the one hand, the understanding that the plot of the historical relations involved in the controversies promotes a discussion beyond the field of humor, and, on the other hand, the observation that the two debates are different and interdependent. From these remarks, I propose some considerations about the "political" in discourses about humor (AU)

Grantee:Alan Lôbo de Souza
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate