Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Holly Payne, Ph.D. (Director); Blair Thompson, Ph.D.; Angela Jerome, Ph.D.

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Abstract

Through the examination of a satirical Facebook page called Hope that Helps (HTH) this study filled a gap in communication research on humor and resistance within online communities. The qualitative content analysis of the HTH page showcased satire’s role in acts of resistance. Using jokes, impersonation, and ridicule HTH resisted large corporations, government institutions, messages from public figures, and entitled American consumers. HTH also used humor to resist social constructs including Whiteness, transphobia, and American nationalism. Along with page creators, HTH followers were active participants in the humor and resistance acts on the page. HTH served as a space for page followers to express support, give suggestions, and vent about their own difficulties in customer service roles. Prescriptions for communication researchers interested in the intersection between humor and resistance in online environments are discussed.

Disciplines

Communication Technology and New Media | Critical and Cultural Studies | International and Intercultural Communication | Social Media