Humorous Self Disclosures as Resistance to Socially Imposed Gender Roles


  • Florencia Cortés-Conde Goucher College
  • Diana Boxer University of Florida



Humour, Self-disclosure, Relational Identity, Social Conversation, Gender Roles


Th is article examines the function of humorous Self Disclosures (SD) as a pragmatic means for women to grapple with their possible identities in modern society. In analyzing instances of SD, made freely in ordinary conversation and which place the speaker in a vulnerable position, we aim to observe identity stances situated between the personal and the social. The data show how humorous self disclosures co-constructed in talk-in-interaction build a shared history and display this history to others in talk. Th rough this sort of conversational exchange, female interlocutors develop relational (fluid) identities within particular constellations of interaction. Th e humorous frame through which the SDs are realized allows for resistance and exploration of roles imposed by the larger society, in particular gender roles. While, in the observed interactions, participants question hegemonic views of women as passive and victims, they also disclose contradictory practices questioning these women’s commitment to that resistance. Data for this study derive from two groups of professional women in distinct speech communities and languages.

Author Biographies

Florencia Cortés-Conde, Goucher College

Assistant Professor Hispanic Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Diana Boxer, University of Florida

Professor Linguistics


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How to Cite

Cortés-Conde, F., & Boxer, D. (2010). Humorous Self Disclosures as Resistance to Socially Imposed Gender Roles. Gender and Language, 4(1), 73–97.