|Part of a series on the|
|Anthropology of kinship|
|Social and cultural anthropology|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
A joking relationship is a term applied by anthropologists to the institutionalised form of interaction between certain pairs of people in some societies.
Analysed by British social anthropologist Alfred Radcliffe-Brown in 1940, it describes a kind of ritualised banter that takes place, for example between a man and his maternal mother-in-law in some South African tribal societies. Two main variations are described: an asymmetrical relationship where one party is required to take no offence at constant teasing or mocking by the other, and a symmetrical relationship where each party makes fun at the other's expense.
While first encountered by Radcliffe-Brown in the 1920s, this type of relationship is now understood to be very widespread across societies in general. In West Africa, particularly in Mali, it is regarded as a centuries-old cultural institution known as sanankuya.
This type of relationship contrasts strongly with societies where so-called avoidance speech or "mother-in-law" language is imposed to minimise interaction between the two parties, as in many Australian Aboriginal languages. Donald F. Thomson's article "The Joking Relationship and Organized Obscenity in North Queensland" [American Anthropologist, 37:3(1) pp. 460–490, 1935] gives an in depth discussion of a number of societies where these two speech styles co-exist. The joking relationships which are most unconstrained and free are between classificatory Father's Father and Son's Son—which appears to be the same situation in the Plains cultures of North America.
- ""Joking Relationships" Can End Serious Conflicts, DePauw Political Science Professor to Tell International Political Science Colloquium in France". College News. October 4, 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Drucker-Brown, Susan (December 1982). "Joking at Death: The Mamprusi Grandparent-Grandchild Joking Relationship". Man 17 (4): 714–727. JSTOR 2802042.
|This article relating to anthropology is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|