mockery

Mockery or mocking is the act of insulting or making light of a person or other thing, sometimes merely by taunting, but often by making a caricature, purporting to engage in imitation in a way that highlights unflattering characteristics. Mockery can be done in a lighthearted and gentle way, but can also be cruel and hateful, such that it "conjures images of corrosion, deliberate degradation, even subversion; thus, 'to laugh at in contempt, to make sport of' (OED)". Mockery appears to be unique to humans, and serves a number of psychological functions, such as reducing the perceived imbalance of power between authority figures and common people. Examples of mockery can be found in literature and the arts.

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