Humor as a Serious Strategy of Nonviolent Resistance to Oppression



This article explores how humor can be used as one aspect of a strategy of nonviolent resistance to oppression and dictatorship. It combines sociological and philosophical theories about humor's duality and incongruity with theories of nonviolent resistance to oppression in order to investigate the links between topics that have previously been considered unrelated. Experiences from the Serbian Otpor movement, which used humorous actions as a part of its strategy to bring down Slobodan Milošević from power, serve to illustrate the dynamics of humor as a form of resistance. Empirical examples and existing theory are combined to make an outline of an innovative theory of the functions of humor in nonviolent resistance.