Satire and dignity

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This chapter examines satire from the target’s point of view: how to respond tosatire without losing dignity? The power of satire lies in its capacity to challengedignity, which threatens social position, political legitimacy and individualwell-being. Analysing concrete examples of satire, the essay reviews the merits,risks and limitations of possible responses: laugh, joke back, argue, retaliate,show anger, or withdraw. The capacity to respond with dignity is not distributedevenly: not everyone has the resources to do so. Moreover, there is notalways consensus on what counts as a dignified response. In today’s increasinglydiverse and globalised societies, this makes satire increasingly contested andrisky, but also an increasingly important domain for intercultural encountersand negotiations.


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