The Butt of the Joke?

Laughter and Potency in the Becoming of Good Soldiers

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In the Danish military, laughter plays a key role in the process of becoming a good soldier. Along with the strictness of hierarchy and discipline, a perhaps surprisingly widespread use of humor is essential in the social interaction, as the author observed during a participatory fieldwork among conscripted soldiers in the army. Unfolding the wider context and affective flows in this use of humor, however, the article suggests that the humorous tune (Ahmed 2014a) that is established among the soldiers concurrently has severe consequences as it not only polices soldiers’ sexuality and ‘wrong’ ways for men to be close, but also entangles in the ‘making’ of good, potent soldiers. Humor is therefore argued to be a very serious matter that can cast soldiers as either insiders or outsiders to the military profession.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural Analysis
Volume17
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)25-56
Number of pages32
ISSN1537-7873
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Military
  • Humor
  • Attunement
  • Affects
  • Military service
  • Potency
  • Sexuality

Cite this

@article{fb3a059e190c4af6b2397e62f4e225f8,
title = "The Butt of the Joke?: Laughter and Potency in the Becoming of Good Soldiers",
abstract = "In the Danish military, laughter plays a key role in the process of becoming a good soldier. Along with the strictness of hierarchy and discipline, a perhaps surprisingly widespread use of humor is essential in the social interaction, as the author observed during a participatory fieldwork among conscripted soldiers in the army. Unfolding the wider context and affective flows in this use of humor, however, the article suggests that the humorous tune (Ahmed 2014a) that is established among the soldiers concurrently has severe consequences as it not only polices soldiers’ sexuality and ‘wrong’ ways for men to be close, but also entangles in the ‘making’ of good, potent soldiers. Humor is therefore argued to be a very serious matter that can cast soldiers as either insiders or outsiders to the military profession.",
keywords = "Military, Humor, Attunement, Affects, Military service, Potency, Sexuality, Military, Humor, Attunement, Affects, Military service, Potency, Sexuality",
author = "Beate Sl{\o}k-Andersen",
year = "2019",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "25--56",
journal = "Cultural Analysis",
issn = "1537-7873",
publisher = "Berkeley Folklore Archives",
number = "1",

}

The Butt of the Joke? Laughter and Potency in the Becoming of Good Soldiers. / Sløk-Andersen, Beate .

In: Cultural Analysis, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2019, p. 25-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Butt of the Joke?

T2 - Laughter and Potency in the Becoming of Good Soldiers

AU - Sløk-Andersen, Beate

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - In the Danish military, laughter plays a key role in the process of becoming a good soldier. Along with the strictness of hierarchy and discipline, a perhaps surprisingly widespread use of humor is essential in the social interaction, as the author observed during a participatory fieldwork among conscripted soldiers in the army. Unfolding the wider context and affective flows in this use of humor, however, the article suggests that the humorous tune (Ahmed 2014a) that is established among the soldiers concurrently has severe consequences as it not only polices soldiers’ sexuality and ‘wrong’ ways for men to be close, but also entangles in the ‘making’ of good, potent soldiers. Humor is therefore argued to be a very serious matter that can cast soldiers as either insiders or outsiders to the military profession.

AB - In the Danish military, laughter plays a key role in the process of becoming a good soldier. Along with the strictness of hierarchy and discipline, a perhaps surprisingly widespread use of humor is essential in the social interaction, as the author observed during a participatory fieldwork among conscripted soldiers in the army. Unfolding the wider context and affective flows in this use of humor, however, the article suggests that the humorous tune (Ahmed 2014a) that is established among the soldiers concurrently has severe consequences as it not only polices soldiers’ sexuality and ‘wrong’ ways for men to be close, but also entangles in the ‘making’ of good, potent soldiers. Humor is therefore argued to be a very serious matter that can cast soldiers as either insiders or outsiders to the military profession.

KW - Military

KW - Humor

KW - Attunement

KW - Affects

KW - Military service

KW - Potency

KW - Sexuality

KW - Military

KW - Humor

KW - Attunement

KW - Affects

KW - Military service

KW - Potency

KW - Sexuality

M3 - Journal article

VL - 17

SP - 25

EP - 56

JO - Cultural Analysis

JF - Cultural Analysis

SN - 1537-7873

IS - 1

ER -