Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 5-10-2011

Major Department or Program



William Bogard


This thesis attempts to examine many of the major and minor thematic elements of contemporary humor as it relates to the Internet. The historical development of humor is rooted in the capacity for humans to see dissimilarities and incongruities in their everyday settings. This has enabled individuals to construct jokes that often parody or mock conventional understandings of knowledge. The Internet has provided users with new creative tools for expressing parody and has expanded overall participation and viewership of humorous content. The limited constraints of both ownership and production of Web-based content has created a flood of information; it is now becoming increasingly more difficult to determine the origin and nature of humorous material. This paper will argue that while new technology has successfully democratized new types of humor, it has come at the risk of replacing that humor with vacuous content that is pure static.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Fads -- 21st century, Internet -- Humor, Technology -- Society, Laughter -- Humor -- Philosophy, Contemporary world, Digital media -- Technological innovations -- Humor, Wit and humor -- Expression, Evolution -- Behavior, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2011 -- Sociology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Terms of Use

If you have questions about permitted uses of this content, please contact the ARMINDA administrator

Included in

Sociology Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).