Narrative and emotions: Revealing and concealing laughter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


My paper deals with laughter as an expression of emotions in stories.
I study laughter both as a communicative factor in fieldwork and as a stylistic
device in narratives. When is laughter used as an effect in storytelling and what
does this laughter mean? Is laughter always an expression of humour and comics? What else can it be an expression of? The stories that I use for analysing
laughter are personal experience stories of giving birth. In these stories women
use laughter in many ways, both in contact with me as an interviewer, together
with me, and as a way of marking the meaning of the story. The women often
laugh when they talk about corporeality, pain and difficulties during labour, but
also when they perform a self-presentation with elements that “almost” happened during birth. What do they reveal or conceal with laughter in narratives
and what can the laughter reveal about the point of their narration?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages13
JournalFolklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • narrative
  • laughter
  • emotions


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