THREE CHARACTERS IN POLISH JOKES
The aim of this paper is to show how tripartite jokes have developed from ethnic jokes into jokes about professions. The attempt to answer the question about the universal and culture-specific character of those jokes is crucial. The introduction presents the relationships of the current topic with the number three as a folkloric universal. Stereotypical situations prompting the representatives of different nations to behave in a manner characteristic of them are then described, followed by the analysis of the entwining of ethnic, political, sexual, “logical” and other dimensions of humour in tripartite jokes. The historical contexts and the role that the closest and most relevant neighbours, i.e., the Russians and the Germans, play in Polish culture is presented and compared with the stereotypes and attitudes of other national characters present in jokes (e.g. the Czechs, the Americans). With this, we aim to answer the question if and when ethnic stereotypes are still present in contemporary jokes.
University of Opole, Piaskowa 14, 46-070 Komprachcice, Poland
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