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From the Publisher
"[T]his book will be good source for looking at an important aspect of humor. In defending politically incorrect humor, Rappoport draws on the extensive writing of sociologist Christie Davies, folklorist Alan Dundes, and others but supplies additional observations and conclusions. He presents the sword and shield metaphor clearly: humor is a sword that targets stereotypes and a shield that deflects from them. Humor does not create the stereotypes; it plays with them. The author provides extensive treatment of relevant incongruities among modern humorists, namely Lenny Bruce (for Jewish humor) and Richard Pryor (for African American humor). The discussion continues through more contemporary examples, bringing in an unusual amount of information for such a brief work. Rappoport even reveals Whoopi Goldberg's pre-stage name. Punchlines can be read as an end in itself or as an informative guide to a broader literature. Highly recommended. All readers; all levels."
"The author's hypothesis is that racial, ethnic, and gender humor (called here stereotype humor) can serve a positive social function. He maintains that stereotype humor acts as a powerful force against prejudice when used to ridicule stereotypes and slurs….[t]his book is recommended for the information it provides on the history of this type of humor."
"No-one will be able to fault Professor Rappoport for a lack of breadth of knowledge and he has mastered the literature of folklorists and sociologists about racial, ethnic and gender humor as well as that of his own discipline, psychology….[H]e writes in an admirably clear way. He has delivered his punchlines well and made out an excellent case for racial, ethnic and gender humor."
"[T]he volume is packed with information, with both assimilated insights from Rappoport's own research and also from his wide reading in the research literature on humour… many chapters are a pleasure to read and laguage scholars wanting to learn more about humour research and the social psychology aspects of ethnic wisecracking could do well by starting here."
Journal of Sociolinguistics