Gender Differences in the Practice and Enjoyment of Humour in Norway


In recent Norwegian society we can observe great changes in the use and the apprehension of humour, both in the mass media and in the daily life of people. Changes occur in the expectations, practice and evaluation of humorous communication.The focus in this article is on the changes in gender differences as regards humour. Creating my sources through fieldwork and distributing detailed questionnaires, I have been careful to establish a body of material that reflects experiences and views held by the informants. The possibility of applying an internal perspective to the relationship between humour and gender gives an opportunity to concretize and qualify theoretically based knowledge of gender differences. In the main the reflections of the informants verify our knowledge of gender patterns in the use and interpretation of humour, but at the same time they demonstrate the variety of apprehension inherent in this extensive field of communication.

How to Cite

Hertzberg Johnsen, B., (1999) “Gender Differences in the Practice and Enjoyment of Humour in Norway”, Ethnologia Europaea 29(1), 19-28. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Birgit Hertzberg Johnsen (Norwegian Folklore Archives)



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