Anthropology, Department of


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Published in THE NEBRASKA ANTHROPOLOGIST, Volume 2 (1975). Published by the Anthropology Student Group, Department of Anthropology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588


The Miainstreet club is a small voluntary association located in a small Midwestern city. It is a formally-chartered corporation and part of a large international federation of clubs designed to provide economic and social services to the communities in which they are located. It is characterized by membership criteria and a stated purpose of service to community. The Mainstreet club presently lists twenty-four active members, a small size in comparison with other similar service clubs in the city where it is located. In the course of my research, I became aware of a rather formalized pattern of joking and banter within the club. It appeared to be something more than the normal teasing and gibing characteristic of clubs of this type. This paper attempts to establish the parameters of this relationship and to determine whether it can be defined as a joking relationship in the social anthropological sense of the term.

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