Humor in Political Protest Music: It’s Hard to Hate Someone When You’re Laughing at Them

By Eddie Glenn.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Political protest music has long been a topic of inquiry for rhetorical scholars, with most concluding that such music serves primarily to strengthen in-group identity. Little critical attention has been given, however, to one particular category of protest music -- humorous political satire.
In this essay, the author discusses audience responses to a humorous political protest song he wrote and performed from 2003 through 2008. Applying the theories of Kenneth Burke and Chantal Mouffe to the song and those audience responses, the author argues that humorous political satire serves to shift the frame through which people consider political controversy.

Keywords: Humor, Satire, Music, Politics, Political

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.261-268. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 610.812KB).

Dr. Eddie Glenn

Doctoral student, Communication Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Eddie Glenn is a doctoral student in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Kansas. His primary areas of interest are political communication, public sphere and democracy studies, and rhetoric education.


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