The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of humor in working environments in which professionals are constantly exposed to death, bereavement and to human suffering and its use in negotiating work experiences by workers. This study includes a qualitative research design with semi-structured interviews and focus groups as research tools. The sample involved 55 workers (54.5% males) who hold managerial, supervisorial and operatorial positions in four funeral industry sectors: morgues, cemeteries, funeral services and crematoria services. Template analysis technique was used to analyze the collected data. The study recognized different forms of humor which funeral professionals can use in facing daily contact with death. Nine themes were identified as humorous expressions in the workplace. Three sub-categories of the affiliative style (camaraderie, pranks and laughing along with other professionals) were identified, as well as six sub-themes of the self-enhancing humor style (cadaveric rhetoric, raw language, laughing along with clients, tragicomedy, context ambiguity and the undertaker’s humor) and one category (cynicism) of the aggressive style. A further theme labelled “behind the curtains” was identified as crosscutting to all four categories. The results of this study contribute to the functional and dysfunctional use of humor in work contexts, especially in those contexts where workers deal with death and bereavement on a daily basis. The peculiarity of this research concerns the work context studied, given that limited literature is found in regards.

I nearly died laughing: Humor in funeral industry operators

Guidetti G.
;
2019

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of humor in working environments in which professionals are constantly exposed to death, bereavement and to human suffering and its use in negotiating work experiences by workers. This study includes a qualitative research design with semi-structured interviews and focus groups as research tools. The sample involved 55 workers (54.5% males) who hold managerial, supervisorial and operatorial positions in four funeral industry sectors: morgues, cemeteries, funeral services and crematoria services. Template analysis technique was used to analyze the collected data. The study recognized different forms of humor which funeral professionals can use in facing daily contact with death. Nine themes were identified as humorous expressions in the workplace. Three sub-categories of the affiliative style (camaraderie, pranks and laughing along with other professionals) were identified, as well as six sub-themes of the self-enhancing humor style (cadaveric rhetoric, raw language, laughing along with clients, tragicomedy, context ambiguity and the undertaker’s humor) and one category (cynicism) of the aggressive style. A further theme labelled “behind the curtains” was identified as crosscutting to all four categories. The results of this study contribute to the functional and dysfunctional use of humor in work contexts, especially in those contexts where workers deal with death and bereavement on a daily basis. The peculiarity of this research concerns the work context studied, given that limited literature is found in regards.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/728781
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