Seriously Funny: Mexican Political Jokes as Social Resistance

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University of Arizona Press, 06 մրտ, 2014 թ. - 279 էջ
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Political jokes exist around the world and across many types of political systems. But what purposes do they serve? Do they have an impact on politicsÑor on politicians? Surprisingly, scholars have paid scant attention to these significant questions. And, until the publication of this book, no one had ever systematically studied political humor in Mexico. When the first edition of this work was published in Mexico, it caused a stir. Elected officials, it turned out, had grudgingly accepted that they and their politics could be the target of jokes uttered in public, and even on television, but they were incensed that a leading academic had collected political jokes into a book and analyzed their function in a country that had experienced nearly a century of one-party rule.
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Now available in English for the first time, Seriously Funny is a groundbreaking work. Its goal is to examine the ways in which political humorÑincluding nicknames, anagrams, poems, and parodies of religious prayers, in addition to jokesÑhas developed and operated in one country over more than four centuries. Although political humor thrives in Mexico, it is often cleverly encoded so that it doesnÕt appear to be critical of government policies or officials. But, writes Samuel Schmidt, that is precisely its purpose: to question the actions and assumptions of the party in power. Schmidt argues persuasively that political jokes are acts of minor rebellion: their objective is not to overthrow a government but to correct its mistakes.
 

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Introduction
3
1 Political Jokes in a Theoretical Context
15
2 What Does the Mexican Laugh At?
62
3 The Role of Political Jokes in Mexico
90
4 Political Jokes against Mexican Presidents
121
5 Zedillo Fox and Calderón
176
Postscript
227
Conclusion
231
Acknowledgments
241
Notes
243
Bibliography
263
Index
273
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Samuel Schmidt is a profesor at the Benemerita Universidad Aut—noma de Puebla. He is the author of twenty-two books, including The Deterioration of the Mexican Presidency: The Years of Luis Echeverr’a.

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