16 Pages

Humour: A Way to Transcendence in Later Life?

ByElizabeth MacKinlay, RN

Is there a spiritual component in humour? Is laughter part of the spiritual dimension? These were questions I asked, while analysing the stories of older people from in-depth interviews of where these people found meaning in life. When I studied the transcripts of the in-depth interviews, humour was expressed naturally in many of their stories. I want to make it clear that when I began my studies I did not seek to find instances of humour. This is one of the benefits of a qualitative method of study, as I was able to discover things that were happening for these older people that might not have been shown through the use of questionnaire alone. I will come back to their stories and humour later in this paper.