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Political comedy engagement : Genre work, political identity and cultural citizenship

Doona, Joanna LU (2016)
Abstract (Swedish)
Politisk komedi är en hybridgenre där politiska nyheter och analyser blandas med komedi och underhållning. Allt eftersom politisk komedi ökar i popularitet – i de flesta medieformer och nationella kontexter – arbetar forskare med att förstå dess roll i relation till medborgarskap, och det kan konstateras att genren utmanar den vetenskapliga förståelsen av politiska medier och medborgarskap. Denna avhandling undersöker och utvecklar därför förståelsen av hur publikens engagemang i politisk komedi främjar politiskt och kulturellt medborgarskap. Detta fokus på engagemang sätter de varierade och dynamiska subjektspositionerna inom publiken i centrum, samt poängterar hur människor i alla omständigheter använder både emotionella och rationella... (More)
Politisk komedi är en hybridgenre där politiska nyheter och analyser blandas med komedi och underhållning. Allt eftersom politisk komedi ökar i popularitet – i de flesta medieformer och nationella kontexter – arbetar forskare med att förstå dess roll i relation till medborgarskap, och det kan konstateras att genren utmanar den vetenskapliga förståelsen av politiska medier och medborgarskap. Denna avhandling undersöker och utvecklar därför förståelsen av hur publikens engagemang i politisk komedi främjar politiskt och kulturellt medborgarskap. Detta fokus på engagemang sätter de varierade och dynamiska subjektspositionerna inom publiken i centrum, samt poängterar hur människor i alla omständigheter använder både emotionella och rationella sätt att resonera, snarare än det ena eller det andra – något som är av särskild vikt i relation till politisk komedi. Genom att kartlägga samtida exempel på genren, och genomföra djupintervjuer och fokusgrupper med sammanlagt 31 unga vuxna svenskar (18-35 år gamla) som regelbundet tar del av politisk komedi (svenska ”Tankesmedjan” och/eller amerikanska ”The Daily Show”), analyseras både de sätt som politisk komedi tilltalar sin publik, och de sätt som publiken engagerar sig i politisk komedi. Fokus ligger på konstruktionen av genre, så kallat genre-arbete, samt på politisk identitet och kulturellt medborgarskap. Avhandlingen instämmer med dagens vetenskapliga kritik mot den moderna erans medborgarideal, i empirisk och normativ bemärkelse, eftersom det betonat den lydiga, rationella och välinformerade medborgaren alltför mycket. Den visar hur uppfattningen om ”underhållning” som strikt separat från, och mindre värdefullt än ”information” fortsatt behöver ifrågasättas, och bidrar med en djupare förståelse för hur publiken engagerar sig i den här typen av hybrida genrer. Politisk komedi skapar utrymme för så kallad ”politisk lek” och ”emotionell autencitet”, vilka är viktiga för unga medborgare i utveckling. Vidare visar avhandlingen hur publiken ägnar sig åt ett så kallat dubbelt engagemang, som innebär att den ständigt försöker tolka och förstå vad som avses vara allvar, och vad som avses vara skämt. Avhandlingen bidrar därmed med kunskap om publikens omfattande kunnande i relation till politisk komedi, dess avancerade förståelse för medier och nyhetsproduktion, och dess förmåga att ”självinformera” sig om politiska nyheter och frågor – vilket står i motsättning till dess bristande tro på sin möjlighet att påverka. Publiken är med andra ord ytterst intresserad av politiska frågor, men oroar sig för eventuella sociala konsekvenser som ett ökat politiskt deltagande skulle ha, samt för hur väl politiken fungerar, vilket benämns ”obekvämt” medborgarskap i denna studie. I det sammanhanget är det viktigt att betona vikten av så kallad symbolisk utjämning, som politisk komedi bidrar med genom sin kritik av den politiska eliten och den konventionella journalistikens kunskapsanspråk och auktoritet. Genom att representera kritiskt tänkande och främja en förståelse för andra hjälper politisk komedi unga vuxna att känna sig som medborgare, både i politisk och kulturell mening. Avhandlingen argumenterar för att det ökade engagemanget i politisk komedi bör ses som ett symptom på det ”obekväma” unga medborgarskapet, och användingen av ironi och humor som ett sätt att hantera det. Engagemanget i politisk komedi är ett uttryck för demokratiers behov av olika typer av politiska medier där alla aspekter av ungt medborgarskap, inklusive emotionella sådana, erkänns. (Less)
Abstract
Political comedy is a hybrid genre that mixes political news and analysis with comedy and entertainment. As it becomes more and more popular in most media forms and national contexts, researchers struggle to understand its role in relation to other types of political media, and of citizenship; in this sense, it challenges scholarly conceptualisation of political media and citizenship. Thus, this thesis examines and develops the understanding of how audience engagement in political comedy encourages political and cultural citizenship. The focus on engagement allows the study to emphasise diverse subject positions and their dynamic character. Additionally, it stresses that reasoning is both emotional and rational, rather than either or,... (More)
Political comedy is a hybrid genre that mixes political news and analysis with comedy and entertainment. As it becomes more and more popular in most media forms and national contexts, researchers struggle to understand its role in relation to other types of political media, and of citizenship; in this sense, it challenges scholarly conceptualisation of political media and citizenship. Thus, this thesis examines and develops the understanding of how audience engagement in political comedy encourages political and cultural citizenship. The focus on engagement allows the study to emphasise diverse subject positions and their dynamic character. Additionally, it stresses that reasoning is both emotional and rational, rather than either or, which is especially important in the study of political comedy. By mapping contemporary examples of political comedy as well as carrying out in-depth interviews and focus groups with 31 young adult Swedes (18-35 years old) who regularly engage with political comedy (Swedish radio programme Tankesmedjan and/or American television programme The Daily Show), the study’s analytical attention is on modes of address as well as audience engagement. Focussing on constructions of genre, so-called ‘genre work,’ political identity and cultural citizenship, the thesis reiterates contemporary scholarly critique of the modern era ideal type of a dutiful, rational and well-informed citizen, from a normative and empirical standpoint. The study’s findings include a challenge to the understanding of ‘entertainment’ as separate from, and less valuable than, ‘information’; and contributes a deeper understanding of how audiences engage with these kinds of political media spaces. It shows how such spaces allow for so-called political play and emotional authenticity, which is important for the developing citizen. Further, it illustrates how audiences enjoy the double mode of engagement that is required by political comedy’s mix of serious and silly, whereby they analyse which is what. The thesis contributes knowledge about political comedy audiences being skilled, ‘media-savvy’ and ‘self-informed,’ yet lacking in political efficacy. They are highly interested in political news and political issues, but worry about various social aspects of increasing their political participation, which the present study labels as ‘uneasy’ citizenship. In this context, audiences enjoy the so-called symbolic levelling that results from political comedy’s critique of conventional journalism’s claim of epistemic authority. Through this, political comedy aids young adults in feeling like citizens, in a political and cultural sense, as it represents critical thinking and promotes an understanding of the perspectives of others. The thesis argues that the growing engagement in political comedy is a symptom of contemporary young adult citizenship, where the use of irony and humour is a way of coping with uneasiness. Hence, the study shows that political comedy engagement is an expression of the need for a wide variety of political media spaces, where different aspects of young adult citizenship can be recognised, including the emotional. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Hermes, Joke, Inholland University
organization
alternative title
Engagemang i politisk komedi : Genrearbete, politisk identitet och kulturellt medborgarskap
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
political comedy, audiences, satire, engagement, citizenship, cultural citizenship, genre, hybridity, identity
edition
1
pages
256 pages
publisher
Avdelningen för medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap, Lunds universitet
defense location
auditorium, SOL-centrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund
defense date
2016-09-16 13:00
ISBN
978-91-7623-895-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
799b6505-fa8a-43ad-bf9c-0d5f934ff94b
date added to LUP
2016-08-16 13:44:21
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:20
@phdthesis{799b6505-fa8a-43ad-bf9c-0d5f934ff94b,
  abstract     = {Political comedy is a hybrid genre that mixes political news and analysis with comedy and entertainment. As it becomes more and more popular in most media forms and national contexts, researchers struggle to understand its role in relation to other types of political media, and of citizenship; in this sense, it challenges scholarly conceptualisation of political media and citizenship. Thus, this thesis examines and develops the understanding of how audience engagement in political comedy encourages political and cultural citizenship. The focus on engagement allows the study to emphasise diverse subject positions and their dynamic character. Additionally, it stresses that reasoning is both emotional and rational, rather than either or, which is especially important in the study of political comedy. By mapping contemporary examples of political comedy as well as carrying out in-depth interviews and focus groups with 31 young adult Swedes (18-35 years old) who regularly engage with political comedy (Swedish radio programme Tankesmedjan and/or American television programme The Daily Show), the study’s analytical attention is on modes of address as well as audience engagement. Focussing on constructions of genre, so-called ‘genre work,’ political identity and cultural citizenship, the thesis reiterates contemporary scholarly critique of the modern era ideal type of a dutiful, rational and well-informed citizen, from a normative and empirical standpoint. The study’s findings include a challenge to the understanding of ‘entertainment’ as separate from, and less valuable than, ‘information’; and contributes a deeper understanding of how audiences engage with these kinds of political media spaces. It shows how such spaces allow for so-called political play and emotional authenticity, which is important for the developing citizen. Further, it illustrates how audiences enjoy the double mode of engagement that is required by political comedy’s mix of serious and silly, whereby they analyse which is what. The thesis contributes knowledge about political comedy audiences being skilled, ‘media-savvy’ and ‘self-informed,’ yet lacking in political efficacy. They are highly interested in political news and political issues, but worry about various social aspects of increasing their political participation, which the present study labels as ‘uneasy’ citizenship. In this context, audiences enjoy the so-called symbolic levelling that results from political comedy’s critique of conventional journalism’s claim of epistemic authority. Through this, political comedy aids young adults in feeling like citizens, in a political and cultural sense, as it represents critical thinking and promotes an understanding of the perspectives of others. The thesis argues that the growing engagement in political comedy is a symptom of contemporary young adult citizenship, where the use of irony and humour is a way of coping with uneasiness. Hence, the study shows that political comedy engagement is an expression of the need for a wide variety of political media spaces, where different aspects of young adult citizenship can be recognised, including the emotional.},
  author       = {Doona, Joanna},
  isbn         = {978-91-7623-895-0},
  keyword      = {political comedy,audiences,satire,engagement,citizenship,cultural citizenship,genre,hybridity,identity  },
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  pages        = {256},
  publisher    = {Avdelningen för medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap, Lunds universitet},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Political comedy engagement : Genre work, political identity and cultural citizenship},
  year         = {2016},
}