Film Theory: Sociology of Social Types–Orrin Klapp

Social Types: Fools

Inspiration from Orrin Klapp and poet Kannadasan

Sachi Sri Kantha

Orrin Edgar Klapp (born 1915), a noted American sociologist, published in Sept 1949 issue of the American Journal of Sociology, an analysis of “The Fool as a Social Type.”

Klapp tried to explain the social roles of heroes, villains and fools and their significance to society at large.

In this paper, Klapp defined a fool as “a person, real or imaginary, who is generally ridiculed and who occupies a distinctive status because of this.”

He then categorized fools into ten types, each with a specific demeanor antic fool, comic rogue, rash fool, clumsy fool, deformed fool, simple fool, weak fool, comic butt, pompous fool and mock hero.


Klapp, Orrin E. Symbolic Leaders. N.Y. 1964

Klapp, Orrin E. The Collective Search for Identity. N.Y. 1969.