Rockwell, Patricia Ann

Dr. Patricia Rockwell is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on the verbal and nonverbal features of sarcasm and has been published in various communication and linguistics journals. Dr. Rockwell is the Editor of the Louisiana Communication Journal.

Sarcasm and Other Mixed Messages
2006 0-7734-5917-0
This book presents a compilation of sarcasm research with the hope that researchers from many different disciplines will discover new avenues of inquiry into the field. Sarcasm has many definitions, and this variety shapes how researchers see it. Sarcasm is portrayed in most dictionary references as negative behavior; it is designed to wound, insult, or taunt. It is characterized as cutting and contemptuous. However, some researchers say that much sarcasm involves teasing and joking. Sarcasm is relatively common, although most instances of sarcasm tend to be isolated. Researchers report different types of sarcasm.

Sarcasm is a type of irony, according to most researchers, and irony is just one of many figures of speech. Some researchers argue that sarcasm and irony are intrinsically different, but others suggest that they are identical for all practical purposes. Although all figures of speech are related to sarcasm/irony to some extent because they are non-literal, the figures of speech called hyperbole (overstatement or exaggeration) and meiosis (understatement) are most similar.

Most sarcasm is linguistic, philosophical, or literary in nature. Most researchers utilize experimental methods, but other forms of research have advocates also. The vast majority of studies mentioned in this book consider elements of comprehension rather than production. Researchers have less often considered sarcastic speakers and what motivates them to use sarcasm. This appears to be changing, however. This book looks at all methodology used in sarcasm research and considers what has been most productive as well as problems that exist with the various research methods.