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Do the kinds of political joke that get circulated in a polity depend on the structure - page 11 / 46

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Douglas Ayling

The student of an authoritarian regime would be hard pressed to identify explicit references to ideas guiding the regime in legal theorizing and judicial decisions in non-political cases, in art criticism and scientific arguments, and would find only limited evidence of their use in education.21

The example of authoritarianism used for this study is Spain under the Franco

regime from 1936 to 1975. While three sources were found, the total number of jokes

available was disappointingly low at 36, despite also searching for Spanish language

material. Efforts made to source political jokes in translation from Portugal under Salazar

(1932-68) and from Greece during the Junta years (1967-1974) were unsuccessful.

Theoretical assumptions

Given the relatively high levels of subjectivity involved methodologically in

categorising the political jokes in this study, the conclusions drawn must necessarily be

tentative. However, it will be useful to make explicit the theoretical groundwork in order to

delineate the spirit of the enquiry and suggest what may be at stake.

21

ibid., p.163

page 11

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