Blurred Lines: The Ambiguity of Disparaging Humour and Slurs in Norwegian High School Boys’ Friendship Groups
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionYoung. 2021, (1-15). https://doi.org/10.1177/11033088211006924
This article examines the use of disparaging humour and slurs in Norwegian high school boys’ friendship groups to shed light on the complexity of adolescent males’ friendships and everyday socialization through a phenomenon that is usually connected to bullying. The study employed a qualitative approach consisting of participant observation and individual interviews with students. The article addresses the ambiguity embedded in the boys’ use of disparaging humour and slurs. The findings of this study suggest that the boys employ prejudiced and discriminatory language frequently with friends; however, the intent behind it is not linked to discriminatory or prejudiced attitudes or practices. Thus, adolescent boys utilize a form of humour where lines between harmful and harmless are blurred and inherently complex. The ambiguity of disparaging humour and slurs may cause challenges for teachers, and this article offers valuable new knowledge that may support them in their daily work.