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Support Live Comedy: The Public Discourse of Amateur Stand-Up in Montreal


Support Live Comedy: The Public Discourse of Amateur Stand-Up in Montreal

Basile, John (2016) Support Live Comedy: The Public Discourse of Amateur Stand-Up in Montreal. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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“Support Live Comedy”
The Public Discourse of Amateur Stand-up in Montreal

John Basile

This thesis represents an interpretive ethnography of amateur stand-up comedians in Montreal. The main themes explored include the performance of identity, the formation of community and the creation of public discourse. The stand-up comedians in question are predominantly young people living in a liminal state between university and “real life”. In this world without the responsibility of a career or a family, these comics are free to create and present an identity of their choosing through their material. In doing so, they not only create a new persona, but also earn entry into a community of peers, and create an emergent, public social space. In this social world outside of the general public, they enjoy a state of communitas with reduced social restrictions and boundaries between individuals. Attaining a place in this liminal space is seen as an end unto itself, and even comics with “bad” material will return to the stage again and again for the sake of belonging there. The amateur comics of Montreal push the temporal boundaries of their liminal state, refusing re-entry and “aggregation” to the general public. In doing so, they create new parallel publics- operating beyond the expectations of their society, but refusing to actively rebel against them.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Basile, John
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Date:March 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cole, Sally
ID Code:981214
Deposited By: JOHN BASILE
Deposited On:07 Jun 2016 19:34
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52

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