Immigrant adjustment: The importance of humor

Daniel W. Lund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the important role of humor in the effective new-country and new-organization adjustment of professionally-skilled immigrants in Australia. Interviews were conducted with a diverse group of immigrants and native-born Australians working in a large state-owned university. Humor was found to be a key factor in promoting the effective adjustment and emotional wellbeing of the immigrants. The nature of humor, however, and what was considered 'funny' was found to be distinctly different amongst the immigrants and the host-country Australians. Australian styles of humor were generally considered 'un-funny' by the immigrants. Many of the immigrants valued home-culture humor on par with home-culture food. The immigrants that did not have social interactions with people from their home-cultures reported having considerable personal difficulties adjusting in Australia and expressed their desire for sharing a familiar sense of humor. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in relation to the adjustment literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Adjustment
  • Culture
  • Humor
  • Immigrant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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