Because most theories of humour emphasize its intersubjective and/or semantic nature, they fail to fully appreciate and explain self-directed humour. Through a critical exploration of the implications of different theories of humour and satire, this paper argues that the spectrum of reflexive humour and satire can be categorized according to the figure of the satirist and the target of satire, both of whom can feature individual or collective social selves. Depending on the satirist and the scope of satire, the functions of reflexive humour may range from securing psychological homeostasis to dealing with more impersonal, social and philosophical concerns.
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