Oral Performance in Interactional Sociolinguistics
Humorous Stories Among Friends
Helga Kotthoff |
Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultat Universitat Konstanz
The article combines a performance centered approach with sociolinguistic interests. Humorous narratives among friends are shown to contain many features of verbal art, such as, i.e., fictionality, dialogue dramatization, a focus on wording, and a complex management of points of view. Narratives from two social groups are presented in an exemplary way. Although these stories share many perfor-mance features, they also reveal subtle differences. In the "judo group", narratives are often constructed which consist largely of phantasies. The joint production of humorous phantasies centers around one person in the group who is thereby made the center of attention. The men in the judo group often invent teasing stories about the women participants, and thereby a gendered interaction order is established. In the "academic group"1, many stories are told in which the members of this group present themselves as progressive individuals confronted with a not-so-progressive "normal" world. New gender norms are often implicitly thematized in these stories and thereby help to negotiate a new social order between men and women.
Article language: Dutch