Humor, laughter, and affect in multilingual comedy performances in Hawai‘i

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Informed by interaction-based work on affect and identity in conversation analysis, discursive psychology, membership categorization analysis, and stylization studies, this chapter contributes to contemporary humor research by investigating discursive practices in comedy performances in Hawai‘i. Set within this multilingual and multiethnic context, analysis explicates how stand-up comedy, a popular local institution, not only entertains but functions as a highly collaborative site where performers and their audiences reproduce and challenge social-linguistic ideologies and practices distinguishing “Locals” (those born and raised in Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Creole speakers) from “non-Locals” (e.g., white, Standard English speakers). By coordinating laughter and affective and epistemic stances around these two identity categories, participants draw on shared history, language, and culture to maintain a Local community in the present.


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