University of Oulu

Ridanpää, J. GeoJournal (2019) 84: 901.

Crisis events and the inter-scalar politics of humor

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Author: Ridanpää, Juha1
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-07-05


Although humor is generally associated with innocent amusement, in the case of crisis events it has various psychological, social and politically charged effects, both negative and positive. In times of crisis humor functions as a technique for neutralizing emotionally charged areas and by that means provides hope. On the other hand, in contemporary society there exist sensitive socially restricted and culturally dependent boundaries beyond which humor is not permitted to extend. This article discusses how humor becomes politicized when it functions as a part of crisis events, both as a trigger for crises and as a strategic tool to manage them. Specific attention is paid to the impact of spatiality by dissecting how the links between crisis and humor change when the scalar perspective shifts and how different spatial levels interact when humor becomes political. ‘Body’, ‘local’, ‘regional’, ‘national’ and ‘global’ are important spatial abstractions across which the socio-political meanings connecting humor and crisis events become produced.

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Series: GeoJournal
ISSN: 0343-2521
ISSN-E: 1572-9893
ISSN-L: 0343-2521
Volume: 84
Issue: 4
Pages: 901 - 915
DOI: 10.1007/s10708-018-9900-5
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
520 Other social sciences
Copyright information: © Springer Nature B.V. 2018. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in GeoJournal. The final authenticated version is available online at: