Taking humor seriously: Talking about drinking in native American focus groups

Keith V. Bletzer, Nicole P. Yuan, Mary P. Koss, Mona Polacca, Emery R. Eaves, David Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Focus groups provide a source of data that highlight community ideas on a topic of interest. How interview data will be utilized varies by project. With this in mind, we identify ways that focus group data from a particular population (Native American) articulate a health issue of individual tribal concern (alcohol consumption). Taking our analytic framework from linguistics, one of the four fields of inquiry in anthropology, we examine format ties and the performance of humor as stylistic features of tribal focus groups and illustrate how linguistic devices can be used in analyzing aspects of adolescent and adult drinking. Focus group data require systematic review and analysis to identify useful findings that can lead to inquiry points to initiate collaborative work with local experts before the data can be developed and configured into effective program initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-318
Number of pages24
JournalMedical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adults and adolescents
  • Drinking
  • Humor
  • Linguistic analysis
  • Native americans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology


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