Week 7 Workbook Activity – Review – Jokes/serious in question-answer sequences

The second paper which will be reviewed is Steven Clayman’s 2009 paper titled, ‘Jokes/Serious in Question-answer Sequences: The case of Infotainment Discourse1,’ which discusses the dynamics of joking/serious modes of action in interviews conducted on infotainment programs. The main points mentioned throughout the paper are listed below:

  • The distinction between the basic interactional frames arises in ordinary conversation but more prominent in certain genres of interaction conducted for a mass audience
  • Over the years a variety of infotainment programs have emerged that conduct serious affairs with humorous vein. For example, politicians and government officials are now interviewed on late night talk shows
  • Such programs have become an increasingly important vehicle for conveying news and info to the general public which has resulted in public figures wanting to appear in these shows
  • Sometimes two-dimensional character both joking and serious can be subject of explicit comment
  • The humorous dimension provides resources for interviewers, enabling them to make quite pointed challenges and attacks under the guise of joking
  • Some humour can be used as a responsive resource in which can help someone attempt to get out of a difficult situation. However, other joking responses do not merely sidestep the antecedent question.

1Steven Clayman, “Joke/Serious in Question-answer Sequences: The Case of Infotainment Discourse”’, (paper presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting, New York, August 89 – 95, 2009).

Reference

Clayman, Steven, “Joke/Serious in Question-answer Sequences: The Case of Infotainment Discourse”’, paper presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting, New York, August 89 – 95, 2009.

 

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