On 26 August at 16:15 Anastasiya Fiadotava will defend her doctoral thesis "Family Humour in Contemporary Belarus: Forms, Practices and Vernacular Reflections" for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Estonian and Comparative Folklore).
Researcher Anastasiya Astapova, University of Tartu
Senior Researcher Liisi Laineste, Estonian Literary Museum
Professor Elliott Oring, California State University, Los Angeles (USA)
This PhD thesis explores the role of humour in Belarusian families’ life. The study is based on oral interviews and an online survey. The dataset includes examples of oral and digital humour shared by my research participants, as well as their reflections on how and why they use humour in their family communication. The analysis of humorous examples reveals that family humorous folklore comprises many topics and forms, but the most popular genres of oral folklore are conversational jokes and humorous anecdotes based on the families’ personal experiences. Humorous folklore is never impersonal in family communication, and it is usually adapted to the family context. The fact that family humour is imbued with personal meanings, values and emotions make its use potentially risky and its role at times ambivalent.