The concept of ethnic, racial, and gender humor is as sensitive a subject today as it has ever been; yet at no time in the past have we had such a quantity of this humor circulating throughout society. We can see the power of such content manifested continually in our culture's films and stand-up comedy routines, as well as on popular TV sitcoms, where Jewish, black, Asian, Hispanic, and gay characters and topics have seemingly become essential to comic scenarios. Though such humor is often cruel, it can be a source of pride and play among minorities, women, and gays. Leon Rappoport's incisive account takes an in-depth look at ethnic, racial and gender humor. Despite the polarization that is often apparent in the debates such humor evokes, the most important melting pot in this country may be the one that we enter when we share a laugh at ourselves.
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This essay identifies emancipatory racial humor as a disarming critical public pedagogy that ... Punchlines: The case for racial, ethnic, and gender humor.