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See: jocular
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The respondents' social network choices and descriptions of joking patterns revealed four stereotypical overchosen and over-rejected group members.
In the rare instances when they are included in the joking pattern they are customarily the butt of the joke.
Everyone laughed, but no one liked the comment--even though they knew that Bob was joking.
It may be that benign bureaucrats are included in joking because group members perceive them as powerless to do anything about the jokes--despite their formal authority.
The reason for the offense is different in this case, however: The benign bureaucrat's joking is resented because he or she is not respected as a productive member of the group.
The engineers let her know--to her face--that they do not like her constant joking about them.