Disposable cameras, humour and children's abilities
SourceContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
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This was a two-phase qualitative study that investigated the humorous aspects of humorous photographs young children took in their school and home environment, which were examined in the context of the theory of the absurd and the empowerment theory. The participants in the study were six children — three boys and three girls — between the ages of four years, eight months and five years, eight months. During phase one, the children were given a disposable camera and were asked to take photographs of whatever they considered humorous and made them laugh in their school and home environment. Semi-structured interviews and the photographs were the main data sources. During the interviews, the children described the photographs and reasoned about their funniness. After six months, during phase two, the children revisited their humorous photographs and talked about them. This study asserts that kindergartners' humour definitions as presented in their photographs can be regarded within the framework of the two theories. More specifically, the children refer to incongruity, something out of the ordinary (a cognitive process), and act as social agents utilising relationships within their social milieu to produce and appreciate humour (communities of practice). The use of a camera is considered as a creative and empowering tool which involves children in research.