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Humour in the Swedish Court: managing emotions, status and power

Kapitel i bok
Författare Stina Bergman Blix
Åsa Wettergren
Publicerad i Judges, Judging and Humour
Sidor 179-209
ISBN 978-3-319-76737-6
Förlag Palgrave Macmillan
Förlagsort London
Publiceringsår 2018
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Sidor 179-209
Språk en
Länkar https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-7...
Ämnesord Humour, Judges, Power, Prosecutors, Status
Ämneskategorier Juridik och samhälle, Socialpsykologi, Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)

Sammanfattning

This chapter analyses humour from an emotion sociological perspective, linking humour to power, status, and group solidarity. It draws from about 300 observed trials and interviews with 43 judges and 41 prosecutors from four Swedish district courts. Humour is sometimes skilfully used as a strategy to ease tension, relieve boredom or to reprimand. It is initiated/allowed by the judge, but high-status lawyers or prosecutors may take the initiative. Judges may use humour to uphold an effective and smooth procedure, attenuating their own power. It is generally unacceptable to laugh at the expense of lay- (low-power) people present in court. Inter-professional humour takes place in intermissions during the hearings, while trials running over several days may include the defendants in the semi-backstage inter-professional joking. Most in-court humorous incidents are unintended, where laughter is suppressed or released depending on the judge. Humour has different functions and expressions frontstage (in court) and backstage (office, lunch room). Observation of both arenas reveal its shame-management function in inter-professional relations. While the judges’ backstage area teems with jokes about embarrassing procedural mistakes, prosecutors’ backstage humour more often deals with the foulness and tragedy of criminals and crimes.

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