What do our jokes say

What do our jokes say

Blondes or Chukchi, mother-in-law or lieutenant Rzhevsky – the heroes of our jokes are capable of telling a lot and about ourselves. Why we choose them? And that hiding behind our need to laugh at others?

The belts are changing, and our jokes are changing with them. Stirlitz and Brezhnev, Armenian Radio and "New ours" – other characters came to replace the heroes of former times. However, per feeling, and we have become less likely to joke. Many of us will be easily remembered when the last time heard a good joke? "Anecdotes in our daily communication really became less," the clinical psychologist Sergei Yenikopov believes. – Internet played in this. After all, the beauty of the anecdot in his freshness and originality – what’s the point of telling the joke, which our interlocutor could read in the day before?»In addition, Comedy Club and other similar telenotes came to the place of the former forms of" living "jokes.

And yet we continue to joke, because a funny joke helps us to establish contact with the interlocutor, to arrange it to yourself or discharge the situation. In addition, jokes are beneficial and our own sincere equilibrium. "Humor performs the same function as a dream for a separate person or myths for a complete society: it shows the concern of our consciousness by the fact that we cannot express rationally, – explains the psychoanalyst Musa Nabati (Moussa Nabati). – Anecdote shows our deep fears and at the same time offers a positive decision – with the help of laughter. ". So what fears embody the features of the heroes of popular jokes?


If many jokes have fun in the Soviet times, the jokes about Chukchi, today (especially from television,) are more often joking on representatives of neighboring states coming to earnings in Russia. "We meet these people every day," says Sergey Yenikolopov. – And many perceive their features (different from ours) as a threat to the usual way of life. We laugh at the "oddity" of those who are close, but at the same time it does not coincide with us. "This allows you to project on the" other "the features that we least tend to take into ourselves, – the psychologist continues. – Jokes, ridicule "others", in fact, should show that we are better. Such jokes are performed by several functions at once: on the one hand, they increase (in comparison with someone) our self-esteem, and on the other – help to defend their originality, separating "their" from "Aliens".

Naive Tajiks, nimble Ukrainians, "hot Estonian guys" – in such labels, psychologists and psychoanalysts see the manifestation of our conflicting attitude towards strangers, based on curiosity and interest in unlikely, and on fear and rejection of his. "We are talking about" others "and when they are joying about politicians and power. After all, in them we also see first of all those who are neither the same as we, neither completely different, and it causes worrying with us, because he distorts the boundaries of our identity, – Sergey Yenikolopov concludes. – This is reflected in the humor. ".

About it

  • Elena Shmeleva, Alexey Shmelev "our Anecdote. Text and speech genre », Languages ​​of Slavic Culture, 2002.
  • Alan Dandes "Folklore: Semiotics and / or Psychoanalysis", Eastern Literature, 2003.
  • Martin Martin "Psychology of Yumor", Peter, 2009.
What do our jokes say


Anecdotes about them, practically becoming a common place, however, not the first year retain record popularity. Why do many people want to see blonde women frankly stupid, helpless, incapable of elementary logic? "This is a veiled manifestation of sexism, that is, the approval of the superiority of one sex over the other, the manifestation of the unconscious need to substantiate their idea of ​​the social inequality of men and women," says Sergey Yenikolopov. – This can be seen in this and the sign of the rejection of today’s tendency to feminization of society, and their negative response to an increasing number of successful women among us ". "In the anecdotes about blondes today, the return of women’s displaceed from the public consciousness," Musa Nabati agrees. – Caught under the ban in the era of feminism, it found a new, more careful expression, pretending that focused only on a certain type of women ".

The substitution turned out to be so convincing that women themselves believed in it, agreeing to see the scapegoat in the "stupid blonde". "Such jokes carry double benefits, – continues Musa Nabati. – Men they allow again to feel their advantage over the female sex, and women help to give a feeling of rivalry and jealousy. ".

Jealousy here is associated with the fact that the light color of the hair was considered by our ancestors as a sign of beauty. Then the photo models from magazines appeared – and the blonde turned into a standard erotic ideal. "Mocking over blondes – clarifies Sergey Yenikolopov, is to some extent our ridicule over the current society and the stereotypes that it imposes us".

What is a "scapegoat"?

In the ordinary understanding of the "scapegoat" is a person who members of this community impose a blame for all its possible troubles and errors. And often ridicule his. But initially this expression had a religious meaning associated with the cleansing rite described in the Bible. In the book Levit (Lev. 16: 7-8, 10) It is said that during the holiday by Yom Kipur, the high priest chose two goats, on which he laughed hands, shifting all the sins of the past year. One of them immediately sacrificed, and the other, whom they called the scapegoat, were driven into the wilderness, to the rock azazel, from which he was later discharged.

What would Freud say about it

My biographers attribute me such a sense of humor, in which a person is joking, and he himself is not laughing. As well as the complete inability to laugh at oneself. But I saw that hiding behind the humor: an indirect, bypass method to satisfy sexual or aggressive motivations that society does not allow us to show openly. The essence of humor is to weaken our gusts, to which the situation pushes: we are joking on the manifestation of these "uncomfortable" feelings. So the main attractiveness of humor, in my opinion, is that it reduces the costs of strong emotions. But in humor there is something ambitious, because he is stubborn and does not conquer fate: "I" refuses to obey the reality forcing for suffering, demonstrating that the imperfection of the outside world is just a reason to enjoy … "

This epic female figure for the first time became central in Jewish humorous folklore – as a mother of a boy. After that, she acquired more common features, speaking as mother-in-law, then mother-in-law. What reproaches to her are presented in our jokes? First of all, she is accused of authority and annoyance. "Mother’s mother-in-law or mother-in-law perceived as a serious threat to a young family in the era of communal, when various generations had to live side by side on a limited space, which could not not cause conflicts, – Sergey Yenikolopov notes. – Today, such jokes primarily reflect our desire to protect themselves from any powerful influence of those who are older than us by age or higher on the status, our adult life. Talking an anecdote about the unceremonious mother-in-law, we can keep in mind and chief, and our neighbor ".

From the point of view of psychoanalysts, in this heroine jokes embody all the shortcomings of the mother, unable to reconcile with the psychological independence of their child. At the same time, such anecdotes are told, of course, not the mother-in-law or mother-in-law. And these jokes talk more about children than their mothers. "First of all, they are about the inability of the growing children to do without parental behaviors, become truly adults, – Specifies Musa Nabati. – Laughter helps break this outstanding communication-merge between mother and child ".

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