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Functions of Humor in Intercultural Communication and Educational Environments

  • Kimie OSHIMA
Chapter
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 24)

Abstract

Humor is important in its ability to help people to “think outside the box.” It aids in the conceptualization of ideas that are outside of the framework of accepted norms. In this sense, it is a similar skill to having intercultural understanding and communication. It can also assist in the understanding and deconstructing of social and cultural expectations. It can function as a social lubricant, as well as be an antidote to inter-ethnic tensions, as seen in the successful use of ethnic jokes in a multi-ethnic society like Hawaii. It has also been shown that the type of environment created in the classroom by humor can motivate students, and by doing so contribute to building better teacher-student relationships. Humor promotes mental flexibility, which can help people to first understand, then adopt, new aspects of culture and communication, which can then be further developed through education.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Foreign Language DepartmentKanagawa UniversityYokohamaJapan

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