Rituals of fun and mischief: The case of the Swedish meatpackers

  • Strömberg S
  • Karlsson J
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Abstract

Purpose: This article seeks to analyse rituals of humour and joking practices among two groups of meatpacking workers, to better understand the organic dynamics of workplace fun. Design/methodology/approach: This is an ethnographic study of two groups of meatpacking workers within a Swedish food preparation company. Data were collected using multiple methods including observations, field notes, and individual and group interviews. Findings: This study uncovers ample evidence of joking practices among the workers studied. These are presented on a continuum of pure to applied humour in five types: jokes, physical joking practices, clowning, nicknaming and satire. Originality/value: This article gives a rich description and analysis of organic workplace humour in a contemporary food production setting and offers a typology of joking practices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Employee behaviour
  • Food products
  • Group behaviour
  • Organizational culture
  • Sweden
  • Workplace

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Authors

  • Susanne Strömberg

  • Jan Ch Karlsson

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