The social functionality of humor in group-based research

Hewer, R., Smith, K. and Fergie, G. (2019) The social functionality of humor in group-based research. Qualitative Health Research, 29(3), pp. 431-444. (doi: 10.1177/1049732318800675) (PMID:30340445) (PMCID:PMC6350176)

167761.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Citizens’ juries provide deliberative fora within which members of the public can debate complex policy issues. In this article, we reflect on our experience of undertaking three citizens’ juries addressing health inequalities, to explore the positive and facilitative role that humor can play within group-based research focusing on sensitive health policy issues. We demonstrate how both participants and researchers engaged in the production of humor in ways which troubled prevailing power dynamics and facilitated positive relationships. We conclude by recommending that researchers, particularly health policy researchers and those pursuing the kind of lengthy group-based fora associated with deliberative research, consider the positive role humor can play when engaged reflexively. In so doing, we make a major contribution to extant literature on both deliberative fora (which is yet to consider humor’s facilitative capacities) and the role of humor in qualitative (health) research (which rarely explores researcher complicity in humor production).

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fergie, Dr Gillian
Authors: Hewer, R., Smith, K., and Fergie, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Qualitative Health Research
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1552-7557
Published Online:19 October 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Qualitative Health Research 29(3): 431-444
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727671SPHSU Core Renewal: Informing Healthy Public Policy Research ProgrammePeter CraigMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/15IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU