#onlinedating | Yue Qian and Siqi Xiao: Humour matters more than ‘good looks’ when online dating but immigrants struggle with local jokes | #bumble | #tinder | #pof

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Adult newcomers commonly face challenges like language barriers, cultural shock and isolation. Many immigrants — even those who came to Canada early in life — live in ethnic enclaves and have segregated social networks. They may not be able to integrate into so-called “mainstream” culture.

Looking for humour in these fast-paced online environments can become a process of boundary-making between Canadians and immigrants.

The findings of our study might be applied beyond online dating.

In western contexts, especially, humour is used as a way to evaluate people in many situations. Current research is mixed on the benefits of humour when it comes to physiological well-being, relationship satisfaction and workplace harmony.

Yet humour is commonly regarded as a character strength. Humour is also found to increase evaluation ratings and promote career success.

For immigrants who represent more than 20 per cent of Canada’s total population, how long does it take for them to get and crack a “Canadian” joke?

We have spent almost a decade in North America. Yet it’s not easy for us to understand certain jokes. If we feel this way, how long does it take for newer immigrants with less language proficiency and cultural capital than us to remain part of a conversation?

If humour is used in evaluating cultural fit in friendships, romantic relationships and employment, how long does it take for immigrants to navigate the culture of humour when making friends, seeking future partners or looking for jobs?

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