Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Kath & Kim in America

Julie is in the news reporting on a study looking at cultural resources and humour. Some American college students were 'uncomfortable' when shown Cath and Kim because they felt they were laughing at the lower-middle class.

Julie says, "It's not about whether they had a sense of humour or not, but about the extent to which they needed to know things to find Kath and Kim funny."

This is classic 'literacy as social practice' stuff. These American college students lack the cultural resources (Australian cultural resources) to help them put the show and its humour in context. A good example of the 'situatedness' of texts and readers.

Jay Lemke might say that the semiotic resources needed to read and make meaning from the representation were not commonly known or understood by the viewers. They were confronted with something that they could make meaning from, but that meaning was very different from the meaning that the 'typical' Australian might make watching the same stuff.

Go Julie!

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