The Rhetoric of Brexit Humour : Comedy, Populism and the EU Referendum book cover
1st Edition

The Rhetoric of Brexit Humour
Comedy, Populism and the EU Referendum

ISBN 9780367350987
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
196 Pages

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Book Description

Since 2016 there has been an outpouring of humour, comedy and satire on the United Kingdom’s EU Referendum and decision to leave the EU, or Brexit. This book examines the relationship between Brexit and its comedy, exploring how Brexit and comedy are connected in both Leave and Remain discourse.

It argues that both populism and comedy are rhetorical in nature and so are linked through their semantic structure and communicative potential. Considering the incongruities that Brexit presents for British society, the author analyses the populism that has emerged from those incongruities in the form of ironic, ambiguous and dichotomous discourse. Through the analysis of a range of comedy on the EU Referendum and Brexit, including material from stand-up and situation comedy, and political satire of various types, The Rhetoric of Brexit Humour examines the way in which comedy acts as a rhetoric that draws on, supports and attacks the discourses of Brexit. This provides not just an advance in our understanding of political satire but also a clearer description of the nature of populism.

This book will appeal to sociologists, political scientists, media and communications scholars, and anyone interested in Brexit, populism and comedy.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Brexit, Comedy and Populism

1. Leave or Remain? Unpacking the Dichotomies of the EU Referendum and Brexit Populism 

2. Brexit, Irony and Populist Politics 

3. Brexit Populism, Trickster Irony and Comic Responses

4. Brexit Anti-Populism, Caricature and Critique

5. Brexit, Social Class and Comedy

6. "Brexit Means Breakfast": The Language of Brexit and Comedy

7. Incongruity, Transition and the Shifting Landscape of Brexit Britain

Conclusion: Politics and Satire in Post-Referendum Britain

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Simon Weaver is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at Brunel University London, UK. He is also the author of The Rhetoric of Racist Humour.