5 Homo Ridiculus: Social Constructions of the Comic

The clue to an understanding of the place of the comic in society is its profound affinity with religion and magic.

Social order, when it functions well, envelops the individual in a web of habits and meanings that are experienced as self-evidently real. This, as discussed earlier, is what Alfred Schutz called the paramount reality of everyday life. Despite this semblance of solidity, social order is always vulnerable to disruptions. These disruptions are caused, among other things, by the intrusions of other realities. The sacred is one such intrusion. The comic is another. The two have a lot in common, which is why saints and fools have often had an uncomfortable similarity. Any sociological ...

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