What is “Satire”?

This is working towards objective 4.A.

I wanted to look at the definition of Satire, and encompass what this is as the Instagram Post/Poster Brief, Zine and planned future projects encompass this as its main theme along with parody and sarcasm.

This was further highlighted upon finding the work of comedian Luisa Omielan, as discussed in previous posts and found that my work resonated with the definition shown below especially in regards to using “humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose … topical issues” for example.

Upon further research, I found it interesting that Harold Rosenberg (1960) noted that humour is the oldest form of social study. In a way I feel as though I am working with “tongue-in-cheek” humour in order to study society at this moment in time, as well as to put my ideas out to the public/target audience.

Furthermore, the idea of using parody and humour without legal constriction came to mind whilst reading the below quote stating that “satire benefits not only of the protection to freedom of speech, but also to that to culture, and that to scientific and artistic production.” This led me on to look at Parody Law in relation to my own work which I will discuss on another blog post.

Definition (Oxford Dictionary):
“The use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

Harold Rosenberg, 1960:
The oldest form of social study is comedy… If the comedian, from Aristophanes to Joyce, does not solve sociology’s problem of “the participant observer”, he does demonstrate his objectivity by capturing behavior in its most intimate aspects yet in its widest typicality. Comic irony sets whole cultures side by side in a multiple exposure (e.g., Don Quixote, Ulysses), causing valuation to spring out of the recital of facts alone, in contrast to the hidden editorializing of tongue-in-cheek ideologists.


“For its nature and social role, satire has enjoyed in many societies a special freedom license to mock prominent individuals and institutions. In Germany, and Italy satire is protected by the constitution.

Since satire belongs to the realm of art and artistic expression, it benefits from broader lawfulness limits than mere freedom of information of journalistic kind. In some countries a specific “right to satire” is recognized and its limits go beyond the “right to report” of journalism and even the “right to criticize.” Satire benefits not only of the protection to freedom of speech, but also to that to culture, and that to scientific and artistic production.” (Wikipedia)

Oxford Dictionary. (2016). Definition: Satire. Available: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/satire. Last Accessed: 30th October 2016.
Rosenberg, H. (1960), “Community, Values, Comedy”, Commentary, The American Jewish Committee, 30:155.
Wikipedia. (2016). Satire: Legal Status. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire. Last Accessed: 30th October 2016.

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