Power and Humour in Institutional Talk – A Comparative Analysis

Gabriela Chefneux
2020 Acta Universitatis Sapientiae: Philologica  
AbstractPower is a key concept in institutional talk as it structures both the discourse of that institution and the relationships within it. It influences the formation of identities and is highly indicative of the culture the institution promotes. Humour serves a wide range of functions within an organization and is closely related to power. The paper aims to investigate the relationship between power and humour in educational setting, namely a high school. It analyses two different meetings
more » ... a school board meeting and an evaluation meeting, both held in the same school; these meetings differ in terms of formality, number of participants, and purpose. The paper aims to identify the way humour is used by the more and less powerful participants in the meetings. The paper is structured into two parts – a theoretical presentation of power and humour and the data analysis. The practical part looks separately at each meeting and at the functions humour serves when used by the power holders and the subordinates.
doi:10.2478/ausp-2020-0017 fatcat:ogphfdhjbza3dd57hlzmueynq4