Abstract and Keywords
Humor is omnipresent in modern American life. Since the late nineteenth century, a sense of humor has come to be seen as essential for a healthy personality. Along with the rise of humor in American thought and life, jokes have become a predominant form of American folk expressive culture. Folklorists document jokelore in situ, recording both texts and contexts—historical, comparative, social, cultural, and individual. They treat jokes as artistic expressions and consider how individual style and personality relate to them. As pluralists, American folklorists emphasize that the modern jokes of urban life do not constitute the entirety of humorous expression. It is in this combination of ethnographic, humanistic, and pluralist stances that folklorists contribute to humor studies generally.
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