Digital humor and the articulation of locality in an age of global flows

Lillian Boxman-Shabtai*, Limor Shifman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper uses the lens of internet-based humor to examine how, amidst massive global flows of content, young Israelis articulate a sense of local-national affinity. We analyzed verbal and visual comic email forwards to trace: (a) the extent to which Israelis share local versus global content and (b) the means through which national affinity is conveyed. Results show that while Israelis' humorous diet is mainly non-local, a pervasive use of the Hebrew vernacular plays an important role in creating local affinity. Our analysis yielded five discursive frames that mark locality in humor: presumed locality, dramatized locality, ex(im)ported localization, clandestine localization, and conspicuous localization. We conclude by offering a typology that locates these frames along three analytical axes: origin, explicitness and diversity. The combination of these frames and axes suggests a nuanced map of comic global-local interplays and offers a model for future comparative research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by De Gruyter Mouton.


  • Israel
  • globalization
  • localization
  • national identity
  • visual humor


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