congresos y reuniones científicas
Adolescents as Cartoonists: Exploring their Semiotic and Cognitive Skills
Conferencia; 29th Conference of the International Society for Humor Studies; 2017
Institución organizadora:
International Society for Humor Studies - Université du Québec à Montréal
As other humorous productions (Klein, 2003), cartooning presents many benefits from a cognitive development standpoint. In one or a few panels, cartoonists address social/political issues combining proper and latent meanings. They articulate the visual and the verbal modes to construct self-contained condensed narratives which require the ability to select and represent key moments of the story with humor. Despite promoting these sophisticated semiotic and cognitive skills, most experiences with cartoons in (in)formal educational contexts are limited to their interpretation (El Refaie, 2009). This might be motivated by the marginal status of humor, the predominance of comics as didactic tools and the belief that producing graphic humor may be too complicated for non experts.The main goal of this study is to show that adolescents are not only capable of using and combining different resources to create cartoons, but also that this genre may become a powerful medium for them to express personal experiences or concerns about social conflictive situations.The corpus is composed of 93 single-panel and strip cartoons created by adolescents (aged 10-18) in workshops during 2015 and 2016 in public schools and community centers in Bariloche, Argentina. Each cartoon was coded according to its format, the ability to create humor, the topics addressed, and the authors? motivations, age range and gender. Multivariate descriptive statistical techniques were applied. Results show that the majority of participants succeed in creating humorous situations and representing their peak (Pitri, 2011). Four different groups of cartoons were found: 1. Strip cartoons which address interpersonal topics, in particular mockeries and blunders, and show a playful motivation. Teenagers aged 12-13 are associated to this group. 2. Single-panel cartoons which succeed in creating humor and address social topics from an existential and committed standpoint. Teenagers aged 14-15 are associated to this group. 3. Cartoons which address personal topics and show a motivation that blends playfulness and commitment. 4. Cartoons which fail in creating humor and deal with conflictive/violent topics. Adolescents aged 10-11 and 16-18 do not present any specific tendency. Results will be discussed by referring to characteristics related to cognitive and semiotic challenges, development and gender.