Humour as political resistance and social criticism: Mexican comics and cinema, 1969-1976.
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This research focuses on the study of Mexican comics and films from 1969 to 1976. It uses the language of humour to understand how these media expressed contemporary social and political concerns. After reviewing theories of humour and proposing an eclectic theory to analyse visual sources, three different comic books and four films were examined in order to gain an understanding of the issues that troubled the society at the time. This eclectic theory considered academic approaches from a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, linguistics, psychology, and others. The theory of humour proposed in this thesis can be used to study humorous visual expressions from other cultures and historical times. Thus, one of the novelties of this research is the proposal of an eclectic theory of humour to study visual culture. A second original contribution of this thesis is that it proposes an approach to social history through the analysis of two relevant cultural manifestations: humour and visual culture. This work also invites us to reflect on Mexican society during the presidency of Luis Echeverría Álvarez, as well as the circumstances of the mass media and the arts, both of which enjoyed some freedom in what was called the apertura democrática. Nevertheless, since some topics were still prickly and difficult, humour helped society discuss them, kept them on the social agenda, and acted as a safety valve to express the discomfort of the members of society. Finally, this thesis considers social manifestations, such as humour, as sources through which to study culture and history; it highlights the relevance of the cultural legacy of comics which have been considered as a sub-cultural product; and it shows how we can use films to discover something new about a specific time and social group.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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