HomeFEU Communication Journalvol. 3 no. 1 (2007)

Nosebleed! Untangling the String of Inday Jokes in Computer-Mediated Communication

Arvin William H. Dauz

Discipline: Mass Communication



Computer-mediated technologies like SMS (Short Messaging Service) and the Internet have constructed an identity for the Filipina housemaid in the form of “Inday jokes”. Inday is depicted as knowledgeable, with a good command of the English language and a fondness for highfalutin expressions, thus befuddling people of seemingly higher social status. Through the lens of Kramarae’s Muted Group Theory, the string of jokes reflects social perceptions about Filipina housemaids and how they can overcome them. Sherry Turkle’s Subject Theory, on the other hand, showed the role of computermediated technology in re-shaping Inday’s persona. Textual analysis revealed that the jokes have provided a discourse that seeks to liberate Inday from traditional domestic roles and stereotypes even if the liberation happens only within the persona of an avatar.