Christie Davies

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Christie Davies is a British sociologist, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Reading, England, the author of many articles and books on criminology, the sociology of morality, censorship, and humour. He has also been visiting professor in India, Poland, United States, and Australia.[1][2]

Christie Davies – 2014

Humor research[edit]

In his 2002 book, The Mirth of Nations, he criticises the theories which derive humor from conflict and superiority, and argues instead that they are a form of play – a play with aggression, superiority, and taboo-breaking. He also argues against the Freudian theory about Jewish jokes being mostly self-deprecating, claiming that instead they are based on the cultural tradition of analytical thinking and self-awareness. American folklorist Alan Dundes called the book "the provocative critique of previous scholarship on the subject".[1]

Davies is past president of the International Society for Humor Studies.[3]

Resettling Hong Kong inhabitants in Northern Ireland[edit]

In 1983, Davies warned that when Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 there would be no future for its 5.5 million inhabitants.[4] He suggested a new "city state" could be created near Magilligan Point in between Coleraine and Derry for resettling Hong Kong inhabitants.[5]


  • 1973: Wrongful Imprisonment
  • 1973: The Reactionary Joke Book, ISBN 0-7234-0494-1
  • 1975: Permissive Britain: Social change in the Sixties and Seventies
  • 1978: Censorship and Obscenity
  • 1990, 1996: Ethnic Humor Around the World: a Comparative Analysis, ISBN 0-253-21081-X
  • 1998: Jokes and their Relation to Society
  • 1998: The Corporation under Siege
  • 2002: The Mirth of Nations, ISBN 0-7658-0096-9  ; a social and historical study of jokes told in the English-speaking countries, based on archives and other primary sources, including old and rare joke books.
  • 2003: (with Goh Abe) Esuniku Joku, Kodansha ; the title is a gairaigo for "Ethnic joke"
  • 2005: Jokes and groups. Monograph Series, 44. Institute for Cultural Research, London, ISBN 0-904674-39-8
  • 2005, Dewi the Dragon, a collection of humorous fantasy stories
  • 2006: The Strange Death of Moral Britain
  • 2011: Jokes and Targets, Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-22302-4