, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 11–18 | Cite as

The Social Function of Humor in Interpersonal Relationships

  • Avner ZivEmail author
Symposium: Global Laughter


The social function of humor may be considered to have two aspects. The first is that of the relationships within a group and the social system within which personal acquaintance and interaction between and among group members exist. The second is that of society as a whole or of social phenomena. Here, humor’s role being to reform certain aspects of social life. Bergson’s theory deals mainly with this “corrective” characteristic of humor. In this article, both of these aspects are discussed.


Humor Communication Social roles Cohesion Hierachy Norms Laughter Ideals Satire Comedy 

Further Reading

  1. Apte, M. 1985. Humor and laughter: An anthropological approach. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Lax, E. 1975. On being funny: Woody Allen and comedy. New York: Charterhouse.Google Scholar
  3. Lefcourt, H. M., & Martin, R. A. 1986. Humor and life stress: Antidote to adversity. New York: Springer Verlag.Google Scholar
  4. Veatch, T. C. 1998. A theory of humor. London: Walter de Gruyere.Google Scholar
  5. Ziv, A., & Zeidman, A. (Eds.). 1988. National styles of humor. New York: Greenwood.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tel Aviv UniversityRamat AvivIsrael
  2. 2.College of Academic LearningOr YehudaIsrael

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