Humorens tvetydige funksjon: Hva kjennetegner humor som kan fungere ekskluderende i tradisjonelle mannsbastioner?

Translated title of the contribution: The Double Function of Humor. : The Characteristics of an Excluding Humor in Traditional Male Bastions

Ulla-Brit Lilleaas, Dag Ellingsen, Beate Sløk-Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


In both the Danish and Norwegian military, we have seen how an extensive use of humor makes work more fun for some soldiers, while having a negative effect on others. Not least women who are often victims of the humor – a group already at the edge of this traditional male bastion. In this paper, we focus on the types, function and explanations for this excluding use of humor.
It can be debated whether this use of humor is a deliberate tool or «just a joke» but the result is often that one has to put up with more than what feels comfortable or even being a target for jokes or ridicule. But if laughing at others’ teasing or even coming up with jokes yourself is a sign that you are part of the group, who would then want to be a killjoy by saying «stop»?
We contextualize this humor with matters of cultural demarcations of what might be considered acceptable in the military and present it as an example of the problems that go beyond removing structural obstacles for gender equality. Theories of homosociality and hegemonic masculinity are also employed. Finally, we provide examples of strategies for countering this type of exclusive practice.
Original languageNorwegian
JournalTidsskrift for kjønnsforskning
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)8-22
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Humor
  • Teasing
  • Exclusion
  • Homosociality
  • Killjoy
  • Total institution
  • Military
  • Male bastion

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