Debatable Humor

Debatable Humor : Laughing Matters on the 2008 Presidential Primary Campaign

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Debatable Humor focuses on understanding the behavior of individual candidates within the context of political debates, and uses an evolutionary psychology perspective to understand the roots of this behavior. Specifically, it considers the role humor and laughter plays in selecting leaders and, in turn, how this reflects the values of the political system.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 148 pages
  • 149.86 x 220.98 x 12.7mm | 249.47g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739166972
  • 9780739166970

Review quote

This analysis of a unique and rich data set sheds light on how citizens come to judgment and moves the frontier of empirical political humor research forward. Stewart has written a book that is both timely, given the increased amount of political humor available to individuals in this cable TV and Internet age, and provocative. -- Jody Baumgartner, East Carolina University This is a careful, scientific look at the underrated role that humor plays in politics. Grounded in evolutionary principles, the author's highly original research offers a novel perspective of contemporary U.S. politicians and parties. Anyone interested in political campaigns and personal appeal in general will find this book consistently enlightening. -- Glenn Weisfeld, Wayne State University Quietly over the past several years, a new specialty has emerged in political science on the influence of political humor in electoral politics. With Debatable Humor, Patrick Stewart establishes himself as an important voice in this new terrain-and he delivers. Drawing on evolutionary biology and social influence theory, Stewart lays out an empirically grounded, insightful case for why political humor and the nonverbal communication that accompanies it matters on the campaign trail. The insights from this innovative research show the serious side of humor and laughter in presidential politics and broaden our understanding of how candidates are perceived: not by words alone. -- Erik Bucy, Associate Professor, Adjunct, Indiana University, Vice President, Research, SmithGeiger LLC; author, Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections
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About Patrick A. Stewart

Patrick A. Stewart is assistant professor of political science at the University of Arkansas.
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Table of contents

Chapter 1: Laughing matters on the campaign trail: Humor and laughter in the 2008 presidential primary debates Chapter 2: Laugh codes: Serious thoughts about humorous comments and the politicians who make them Chapter 3: Laughing all the way to the bank: Audience laughter, media, and money Chapter 4: Punchline politics: Laughter and humor during primary debates Chapter 5: Funny faces: Presidential candidate display behavior Chapter 6: "Likeable enough": Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Barack Obama Chapter 7: Playful politicians: Why laughter and humor matters in the rough-and-tumble world of politics Appendix: Inter-coder reliability Bibliography Index
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Rating details

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