Far-right political humor in Australia: culture, coloniality, and exclusion

Kurt Sengul, Jordan McSwiney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the use of political humor in the communicative and discursive repertoire of the Australian far right. Specifically, this chapter critically analyzes the co-constitutive and mutually informing relationship between far right political humor and Australian culture. Existing research has demonstrated the effective use of humor and comedy in mainstreaming the far right and softening the exclusionary and ideological content of their messages. The purpose of this chapter then is to understand how far-right humor is articulated, shaped, and transformed by the cultural context in which it takes place. Australian culture is shaped by several factors, including its settler colonial reality, its strong multicultural legacy, its proximity to Asia, and cultural, social, and political ties to the United States and United Kingdom. Through a Critical Discourse Analysis and Thematic Analysis of far-right political humor, including memes and animations, this chapter will demonstrate how Australian far-right humor maintains a distinctly “Australian” lens. At the same time, this chapter will argue that far-right political humor works to shape culture by stretching the boundaries of socially acceptable behavior by cueing participants that it is acceptable to express contempt and hostility towards ridiculed out-groups.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicating political humor in the media
Subtitle of host publicationhow culture influences satire and irony
EditorsOfer Feldman
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789819707263
ISBN (Print)9789819707256
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameThe Language of Politics
ISSN (Print)2731-7617
ISSN (Electronic)2731-7625


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