In what ways is comedy subversive? This vital new book critically considers the importance of comedy in challenging and redefining our relations to race and racism through the lens of political correctness.
By viewing comedy as both a constitutive feature of social interaction and as a necessary requirement in the appraisal of what is often deemed to be ‘politically correct’, this book provides an innovative and multidisciplinary approach to the study of comedy and popular culture. In doing so, it engages with the social and cultural tensions inherent to our understandings of political correctness, arguing that comedy can subversively redefine our approach to ‘PC Debates’, contestations surrounding free speech and the popular portrayal of political correctness in the media and society. Aided by the work of both Slavoj Žižek and Alenka Zupančič, this unique analysis adopts a psychoanalytic/philosophical framework to explore issues of race, racism and political correctness in the widely acclaimed BBC ‘mockumentary’, The Office (UK), as well as a variety of television comedies.
Drawing from psychoanalysis, social psychology and philosophy, this book will be highly relevant for postgraduate students and academic researchers studying comedy, race/racism, multiculturalism, political correctness and television/film.