What’s the Deal with Liberals? The Discursive Construction of Partisan Identity in Conservative Stand-Up Comedy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Merging sociological theories of collective identity with rhetorical theories of humor, this chapter takes a look at the elusive phenonmenon of conservative stand-up comedy in the United States of America. Drawing on a discursive analysis of a stand-up routine performed by the right-wing comedian Brad Stine, particular attention is placed on how Stine's rhetorical practices contribute to the construction of both liberal and conservative partisan-based identities in the US political sphere. Although the conservative comedic stances of Stine strive for satire they end up relying on a form of the burlesque which traffics heavily in resentment, anger and prejudice. Ultimatley, it is argued that the exclusivist identity-building practices which accompany such forms of humor prevent the constructive forms of debates and dialogue that are needed to sustain a healthy functioning democratic system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStanding Up, Speaking Out: Stand-Up Comedy and the Rhetoric of Social Change
EditorsMatthew Meier, Casey Scmitt
PublisherRoutledge/Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Print)9781138100282
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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