NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED342044
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Small Town Tales: Endemic Performance in Rural America.
Klinger-Vartabedian, Laurel; Cregan, Lori
Storytelling is a performance medium which is enhanced by the qualities indigenous to small towns: collective memory and common history. A type of narrative peculiar to small towns, the community-wide anecdote, is one example of storytelling. The transmittal of such tales is termed "endemic performance" because the retelling of the tales could only occur in a particular type of society. It is a medium which is not easily duplicated in a more complex and mobile urban setting. Two examples of community wide anecdotes from Kansas towns serve as case studies and provide evidence that the narratives do exist and have been perpetuated. One of the tales recounts the mass illness that followed a 1940 church supper; the other story immortalizes a 1961 bomb hoax. As the stories demonstrate, the form and function of the oral tradition is alive and well in small town tales. Further research should examine thematic elements in these stories. Such studies, if interdisciplinary in nature, can provide insights from literary, communication, and sociological perspectives. (Fifteen footnotes are included.) (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Patterns; Kansas; Oral Tradition; Small Towns