The New Generation


The ‘sexy dumb blonde’ stereotype, which emerged in American popular culture during the Twentieth century, is one of the most salient themes of contemporary Internet humor. In this paper, we analyze the new generation of online blonde jokes, claiming that they incorporate three main features. First, in relation to the blonde image itself, we find that stupidity has superseded promiscuity as the main theme of Internet-based blonde jokes. Second, in relation to the spread of the jokes, we describe the globalization of the blonde joke on the Internet, and its translation into numerous languages. Finally, we portray the emergence of “Meta blonde” jokes—texts that build on the popularity and familiarity of the audience with the blonde joke genre in order to comment and reflect on it, yet in so doing, cunningly reinforce old stereotypes.

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Further Reading

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  2. Greenwood, D., & Isbell, L. 2002. Ambivalent sexism and the dumb blonde: men’s and women’s reactions to sexist jokes. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 26(4), 341–350.

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  3. Kuipers, G. 2006. Good humor, bad taste: A sociology of the joke. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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  4. Oring, E. 2003. Engaging humor. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

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  5. Shifman, L., & Maapil Varsano, H. 2007. The clean, the dirty and the ugly: A critical analysis of clean humor websites. First Monday, 12(2). Available at:

  6. Shifman, L., & Lemish, D. 2008. Between feminism and fun(ny)mism: Analyzing gender in popular Internet humor. Paper presented at the International Communication Association Conference (ICA), Montreal.

  7. Shifman, L., & Lemish, D. 2009. Mars and Venus in virtual space: Post-feminist humor and the Internet, Paper presented at the International Communication Association Conference (ICA), Chicago.

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Correspondence to Limor Shifman.

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Shifman, L., Lemish, D. The New Generation. Soc 47, 19–22 (2010).

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  • Blondes
  • Globalization
  • Humor
  • Internet
  • Jokes