Publication details [#72047]

Mora, Raúl Alberto , Simon Weaver and Laura Mae Lindo. 2015. Editorial : Education and humour as tools for social awareness and critical consciousness in contemporary classrooms. The European Journal of Humour Research 3 (4) : 1–8.
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It is not new to consider the instructive power of humour. Both Plato and Aristotle, through their superiority theories,saw the benefit of wit as a social corrective, although they remained suspicious of the uneducated laughter of the masses (Plato in Morreall 1987; Aristotle in Morreall 1987). This approach has informed traditions of satire and resistance humour in a myriad of contexts. Stott summarises the raison d'être of satire through its aim “to denounce folly and vice and urge ethical and political reform through the subjection of ideas to humorous analysis” (Stott 2005: 109). The political potential of humour is easily recognised as a rhetorical and communicative device, yet it seems odd that little stock has been placed academically or culturally in the idea of humour as an educative tool in other social and cultural contexts and, more specifically, in the classroom. It is this gap that this special issue seeks to address. It was, for a very long time, easy to see the presence of a Platonic “corrective” ridicule in many educational settings, while the rebellious, revolutionary, carnivalesque laughter of the learner would be suppressed without hesitation. This special issue, however, does not focus upon the use of humour as ridicule in the classroom, although such uses of humour are examined in some of the papers. Rather, it is concerned with the collaborative, convivial, more productive uses of humour as an educative tool, particularly as a tool to elicit debate and discussion on contemporary social and cultural issues and to encourage social awareness and conscientisation, or critical consciousness.