regimes types are likely to make their effects felt at the grassroots level and that one way
this will happen is by rendering lived experience qualitatively different under each regime.
Furthermore, it assumes that the range of jokes in circulation is somehow responsive to and
reflective of this texture of the national life within a given polity. We will return to the
kinds of theoretical framework it may be possible to argue for in the section on theoretical
The hypothesis being advanced is that the proportion of jokes told which relate
to the political ideology of the regime will vary according to regime type in descending
order as follows: post-totalitarian, totalitarian, authoritarian.
In practice, one cannot control for all of the other independent variables – such as
severity and accuracy of regime-repression, availability of sites for performing joking
behaviours, etc. – all other things are not equal. Furthermore ideal types of regime are
precisely that and are not conveniently instantiated in empirical cases of typological purity.
This is not to mention the problem of data collection. The methodology generates what is
necessarily an approximate and quite subjective representation of the proportions of