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Comedy and CritiqueStand-Up Comedy and the Professional Ethos of Laughter$
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Daniel R. Smith

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781529200157

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529200157.001.0001

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The Critique of Comic Reason

The Critique of Comic Reason

(p.135) 5 The Critique of Comic Reason
Comedy and Critique

Daniel R. Smith

Policy Press

This chapter brings together themes and arguments from the preceding chapters to outline a theory of stand-up comedians as proto-sociologists. It begins by outlining a potential ‘subterranean’ history of the elective affinity between New Left, ‘Alt. Comedy’ and British sociology. From this the chapter explores the distinctive figuration of and mode of critique provided by the stand-up comedian as a proto-sociologist. This is then illustrated through a reading of four contemporary stand-up comedians and their potential contribution to sociological knowledge.

Keywords:   social theory, stand-up comedian, sociology, mediocrity, New Left critique

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