Publication Date

2001

Abstract

This Capstone paper was a study of humor in the workplace at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. The main research question for the paper was "How do four SIT student-centered departments create and use humor?" This paper also considers three sub-questions. 1). What factors influenced an individuals' sense of humor in relation to departmental creation and use of humor? 2). What factors influenced gender-based creation and appreciation of humor in each of the four student-centered departments? 3). What factors influenced how each of the four student-centered departments created and used their distinctive style of humor? The methods used was a self-created seven question humor questionnaire that briefly introduce the topic to 18 participants who were permanent employees and who worked in various positions in four student-centered departments at the SIT. In addition, the questionnaire prepared participants for a one-hour focus group discussion. Of the eighteen, four participants, two men and two women participated in the focus group and shared their views on the topic of how gender influences the creation and appreciation of humor in their department. This paper concludes with four salient points on how the four student-centered departments created and used humor in their workplace, which are personal background influences such as family, each department employed a feminine style of humor, and each department used humor as a intercultural tool to create a distinctive style of humor.

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