“The doctor said I suffer from Vitamin € deficiency”: Investigating the multiple social functions of Greek Crisis jokes
Research on political jokes has more often than not concentrated on their content, which is related to, and interpreted in view of, the sociopolitical events and contexts that have given rise to the jokes investigated each time. The present study intends to suggest that there are other aspects of political joke-telling that could be taken into consideration when exploring its social functions and goals: First, the subgenres employed by speakers to convey their humorous perspectives on political issues; and, second, speakers’ spontaneous comments on the jokes under scrutiny. The variety of subgenres could be related to the diverse ways joke-tellers perceive and encode their everyday problems and political views. Speakers’ spontaneous comments on the content and effects of jokes could reveal why they consider such texts tellable and recyclable, as well as how they evaluate them. The political jokes analyzed here come from a large corpus of humorous material about the current Greek debt crisis and its sociopolitical effects on the Greek society. The analysis reveals the multifunctionality of such jokes: They convey a critical perspective on the current sociopolitical conditions in Greece, strengthen the solidarity bonds among Greek speakers, entertain them, and bolster their morale.