Taking Banter Seriously: A Sociological Analysis

A Centre for Childhood Studies Seminar

  • Wed 12 Jun 24

    14:00 - 16:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr Mark Mierzwinski, York St John University

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

Join us for this fascinating seminar from Dr Mark Mierzwinski.

In the UK, banter is widely reported as a 21st century social phenomenon omnipresent in educational settings, workplaces, leisure activities and on social media. Whilst some reports reference banter’s prosocial qualities, many focus on its blurred lines with bullying, and association with sexism, homophobia, and racism.

This talk starts by framing what banter is understood to be, where it originated from, and at what ages young people learn and use banter. From here, attention turns to banter in sport, framing the topic through several high-profile cases and a 44- year review of English Newspapers. A brief synthesis of emerging literature in this area is then provided before more specifically drawing upon data retrieved from school-based ethnographies and questionnaires with 16-25 year olds.

Analysed through a Figurational sociological lens, critical discussions centre on banter as a communicative tool that can prove an effective power resource. Such discussions include the breadth and morality of banter, age and generational shifts, and gendered and space-related differences. Engaging in such discussions foregrounds broader questions regarding what the emergence of and debates concerning banter tell us about 21st century civilities, sensitivities, and rights to offend.

Register your place

This is an in person talk being held in room 4.722 (Senate Room), but attendance is also possible via Zoom. Entry is free and open to all. 

Register your place on Eventbrite.