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Douglas Ayling

shared frames for interpretation and signalling good will”31. For our purposes it is pertinent

only to ask, “What kind of theoretical explanation of the joking phenomenon is it necessary

to believe in, in order for the three assumptions made above to be plausible?” For the

assumptions to hold, we must assume only that the political context of the telling, hearing

and circulating of political jokes is in some way relevant to what jokes do. On the

theoretical side, all but the null hypothesis admit of this analysis. Beyond this, each

approach provides an explanatory rationale for what is taking place, should the assumptions

be found to hold. It would also be fruitful to observe that these models are not mutually

exclusive and may be used complimentarily to describe the operation of a variety of forces

in any given joking situation.

Sources

The following anthologies were used for this study based on availability and

quality.

31

Tannen (1985), p.69; cited by Johnston (2005), p.12

page 15

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