Sharpening the sword and rounding the shield: online jokes and the vernacular response to political reform in Iran

Etaati, Saeedeh Niktab (2017) Sharpening the sword and rounding the shield: online jokes and the vernacular response to political reform in Iran. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis is an ethnographic study of Iranian political jokes: a hybridized genre of folklore which intersects in both online and oral spheres where it is created and shared. It specifically explores the emergence and growth of politicized humorous cellphonelore, which I term “electionlore”, during and after the 2016 February elections in Iran. Analysing different joke sub-cycles in this electionlore, I argue that these jokes serve as a powerful tool for my informants to construct their own “newslore” (Frank 2011) and make manifest what I term and define “vernacular politics” through which they were mobilized and unified in their political activism. I diverge from the theory of “resistance jokes” (Powell and Paton 1988; Bryant 2006; Davies 2011) and propose a new framework for studying political jokes in countries in suspense between democracy and dictatorship: jokes as an effective and strategic form of reform and unquiet protest.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12862
Item ID: 12862
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 155-165).
Keywords: Political Humor, Vernacular Politics, Political Reform, Iran, Online Folklore, Hybridized Folklore
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: June 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Iran -- Politics and government -- Humor; Iran. Majlis-i Shūrā-yi Islāmī -- Elections, 2016 -- Humor; Political satire, Persian; Iranians -- Political activity

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