Laughing Sectarianism Away

The Possibilities and Limitations of Lebanese Satire

In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
Sophie Chamas Oxford University

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In this article, I examine the potential and shortcomings of political satire as a counter-discursive tool in Lebanon. I take the popular shows BBCHI and CHINN as objects of study, and discuss the ways in which these programs challenged narratives of Lebanon as an inherently sectarian society that can only function under the management of a sectarian political order. While drawing attention to their subversive intentions, I highlight the ways in which these shows reinforced the status quo through recourse to a problematic repertoire of jokes.

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