The Poetics and Politics of Invective Humor

Disparagement in Contemporary Female-Led US Sitcoms

Katja Schulze

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Englische Sprachwissenschaft / Literaturwissenschaft


Vituperation, disparagement, and debasement seem to have become part of the mainstream discourse in contemporary US-American media culture. Zooming in on a distinct televisual comedy genre, Katja Schulze explores the formal principles, media-specific realizations, and the cultural work of disparagement in contemporary female-led situation comedies. Subsequently, larger patterns of (gender-based) invective strategies and conventions that define the dynamism of this comedic genre come into view. Her study outlines case studies of popular sitcoms, like Parks and Recreation, Mike & Molly, and the revival of hit-sitcom Roseanne, thereby unearthing how the shows are able to stage humor as mass-mediated deprecation - a signifying practice with its own poetics and politics.

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Culture, Literary Studies, Sitcom, US Popular Culture, Humor, Disparagement, Literature, America, American Studies, Television, Popular Culture