Jokes can reinforce cultural values and self-image in a humorous and non-threatening way.
For example, how many Cascadians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? All of them. First, a referendum is taken about screwing in the lightbulb. Then a committee is formed to perform an environmental impact assessment and evaluate the types of lightbulb available. When this committee reaches consensus, a new committee creates hiring guidelines and interviews candidates for the screwing in position. Meanwhile, more Cascadians, including some who originally voted for the lightbulb, are now protesting outside, arguing that lightbulbs kill salmon by causing more dams to be built. A group of feminists gather, pointing out that "screwing in" is retro and sexist language to describe lightbulb replacement. And while the tumult rises approximating a 9.0 subduction earthquake, a group of anarchists sneak in and replace the lightbulb themselves, with an LED bulb stolen from the local Jerry's. By the time the lightbulb has been replaced, every Cascadian took some part in the process.