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Humor takes the stage: A performance of couples' humor


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Prologue:"A theory of humor is not humorous" (Critchley, 2001): how then might a researcher theorize and re-present humor-in-action? In responding to this problem in my doctoral research, I turned to performance theory (Alexander, 2005; Gergen, 2001) as a means to bring to life particular research findings. These findings, about humor in coupe relationships, took me into an unanticipated area of theory. At this point, I found myself amongst serious theory about humor that seemed at odds with my lived experience of the pleasure of humor in the research conversations. Performance theory offered a strategy by which I engaged simultaneously with serious theory and humor-in-action. Calling on performance theory, I put Humor on the stage to perform as both actor and research subject as I show in the performance that follows.
This performance is extracted from a study (Talbot, 2012) that involved the parties in a couple relationship in a reflexive process of audiencing their own conversations. Each of the five couples got to act in, view, re-view and review their conversations as couples-spect-actors making and audiencing DVD recordings. I came to call this process 'reflexive audiencing practices'. Employing performance, this article demonstrates some of the effects for couples of reflexively audiencing their own lives, and in particular the playing out of humor. The performance begins.
Welcome to the theatre. Behind the curtain the stage is set.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humor, reflexive audiencing practices, couple relationships, reflexivity, performance, performance theory, ethnography, research analysis methods
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Depositing User: Wendy Talbot
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2016 23:39
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:20

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