Predrag Niketic

DOI Number
First page
Last page


This paper critically addresses the issue of gender discrimination in gender-disparaging humour. The aim of the paper is to review the research conducted within the studies of humour, gender, and language, on the issue of whether and how gender-disparaging humour influences the creation and perpetuation of gender-discriminatory stereotypes and, if it does, whether such humour warrants censorship and whether it is discriminatory inherently or depending on other factors. The paper comprises influential theories of humour and relevant theories from gender studies, used in conjunction to frame the critical analysis of gender disparagement in jokes. The analysis is based on gender-related cultural patterns in Serbia and Anglo-American countries, compared through short canned jokes in English and their translatability into Serbian.


verbal humour, disparaging jokes, gender, discrimination, translatability

Full Text:



Bergvall, V.L. (1999). Toward a comprehensive theory of language and gender. Language in Society, 28(2), 273-293.

Cameron, D. (1997). Performing gender identity: young men’s talk and the construction of heterosexualmasculinity. In: S. Johnson& U. H. Meinhof (Eds.), Language and Masculinity (pp. 47-64). Oxford: Blackwell.

Crawford, M. (2003). Gender and humor in social context. Journal of Pragmatics, 35(9), 1413-1430.

Davies, C. (2005). European ethnic scripts and the translation and switching of jokes. Humor: International journal of humor research, 18(2), 147-160. DOI: 10.1515/humr.2005.18.2.147

Davies, C. (2010). The comparative study of jokes. Society, 47, 38-41.

DOI 10.1007/s12115-009-9279-5

Eckert, P., & McConnell-Ginet, S. (1999). New generalizations and explanations in language and gender research. Language in Society, 28(2), 185-201.

Filipović, J. (2009). Moć reči – Ogledi iz kritičke sociolingvistike [The social power of words: Essays on critical sociolinguistics]. Beograd: Zadužbina Andrejević.

Ford, T. E., & Ferguson, M. (2004). Social consequences of disparagement humor: A prejudiced norm theory. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8, 79-94.

Ford, T. E., Boxer, C., Armstrong, J., & Edel, J. (2008). More than “just a joke”: The prejudice releasing function of sexist humor. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(2), 159-170. doi:10.1177/0146167207310022

Ford, T. E., Woodzicka, J. A., Triplett, S. R., Kochersberger, A. O., & Holden, C. J. (2014). Not all groups are equal: Differential vulnerability of social groups to the prejudice-releasing effects of disparagement humor. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 17(2), 178-199.

Ford, T., Breeden, C., O’Connor, E., & Banos, N. (2017, September 26). Jokes and Humor in Intergroup Relations. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Ed. ???? Retrieved 25April 2019, from

Hodson, G.,& MacInnis, C. C. (2016). Derogating humor as a delegitimization strategy in intergroup contexts. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 2(1), 63-74.

Holmes, J., & Meyerhoff, M. (1999). The community of practice: Theories and methodologies in language and gender research. Language in Society, 28(2), 173-183.

Kotthoff, H. (2006). Gender and humor: The state of the art. Journal ofPragmatics, 38(1), 4-25.

Meyerhoff, M. (2006). Introducing Sociolinguistics. London: Routledge.

Mulkay, M. (1988). On Humor: Its Nature and Its Place in Modern Society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press; Oxford, UK; New York: B. Blackwell.

Mulvey, K. L., Palmer, S. B.,& Abrams, D. (2016). Race-Based Humor and Peer Group Dynamics in Adolescence: Bystander Intervention and Social Exclusion. Child development, 87(5), 1379-1391. doi:10.1111/cdev.12600

Nash, W. (1985). The Language of Humour. No. 16 in English Language, Harlow: Longman.

Rappoport, L. (2005). Punchlines: The case for racial, ethnic, and gender humor. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Raskin, V. (1985). Semantic Mechanisms of Humor. Dordrecht-Boston-Lancaster: D. Reidel.

Raskin, V. (1998). From the editor, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 11(1), 1-4.

Thomae, M., & Viki, G. T. (2013). Why did the woman cross the road? The effect of sexist humor on men's rape proclivity. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 7(3), 250-269.

Thripshaw, E.H. (Ed.). (2010). The Mammoth Book of Tasteless Jokes. London: Robinson.

Trifunović, V. (2009). Likovi domaćih viceva: socijalni tipovi lude u savremenim vicevima [Characters of Serbian jokes: social types of the fool in modern jokes].Beograd: Srpski genealoški centar.

West, C.,&Zimmerman,D. (1987). Doing Gender.Gender and Society, 1(2),125-151.

Yus, F. (2016). Humour and Relevance. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

© University of Niš, Serbia
Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND
Print ISSN: 0353-7919
Online ISSN: 1820-7804