Date of Award

4-21-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Stuckey - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Fuller-Seeley

Third Advisor

Dr. Alisa Perren

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Alessandra Raengo

Abstract

This thesis examines Chappelle's Show’s use of racial satire to challenge dominant stereotypes and the effectiveness of that satire as a tool to achieve perspective by incongruity. I use a variation of D’Acci’s circuit of media study model to examine the institutional challenges and limitations on the show due to the context in which it was created, produced, and distributed; to interrogate the strategies employed by the show’s writers/creators to overcome these challenges through the performance of race; and to analyze the audience’s understanding of the use of racial satire through a reception study of the show’s audience. I argue that using satire often has the unintended consequence of crossing the line between “sending up” a behavior and supporting it, essentially becoming that which it is trying to discount, though this is not to say that its intrinsic value is therefore completely negated.

Included in

Communication Commons

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