Islamophobia has been on the rise in western nations in the years following 9/11. In our lab we study ideological and affective predictors of Islamophobia (Choma et al., 2015, 2016, 2018), discourse about Muslims on Twitter, as well as avenues to combat Islamophobia. One avenue we are especially interested in is Social Justice Comedy.

See more about our Social Justice Comedy Research below.

Islamophobia & Social Justice Comedy

What is Social Justice Comedy (SJC)?

“Social justice comedy combines humor with social activism. It attempts to make the world a better place, using humor as a tool to change society.” – Friedman, H. H., & Friedman, L. W. (2019). LAUGHING MATTERS: When Humor is Meaningful. Friedman, HH and Friedman, LW (2019). Journal of Intercultural Management and Ethics, Issue, (4), 55-72.

The use of humor to stop the perpetuation of intolerance and prejudice beliefs. Social justice comedy can be used to address sensitive social issues in a non-threatening way.

How Does SJC Work?

  1. Attracting Attention – comedy attracts audience attention and keeps the audience engaged
  2. Feeling – Audiences can be persuaded through comedy to be more emotional and caring (rather than educational)
  3. Entering Complex Social Issues – complex issues are now easily accessible through the use of entertainment
  4. Breaking Down Social Barriers – research in SJC has shown decreased prejudice towards minority groups
  5. Sharing with Others – individual and cultural stories are further shared

Chattoo, C. B. (2016). How comedy works [to change the world]. Center for Media & Social Impact.

Click on one of the comedians below and watch their SJC skit

Photo Source: Stanley, P. (n.d.-b). Humaaans – Illustration by Pablo Stanley [Illustration]. Blush.