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ERIC Number: EJ1002373
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0021-3667
Folklore and the Liberal Arts
Brodie, Ian
Journal of General Education, v61 n3 p229-239 2012
In this article, the author argues that the content of what folklorists study pervades all avenues of human interaction, from the food court to the lecture hall, and adverting to the seemingly negligible, interstitial, and ephemeral moments of informal communication is not only fruitful but a necessary complement to the liberal arts. These four movements--the shift from the study of item to the study of that item in performance or use, the recognition that new traditions emerge, the acceptance that the folk are engaged in a cultural matrix from which they draw their shared repertoire, both that marked as explicitly traditional and otherwise, and that no one is excluded from participating in a folk culture--converge at the mid- to late twentieth century to where folklore study is now: a study less of content than of process. The discipline of folklore has as its field of inquiry informal expressive culture, with an emphasis on the tacit, the informal, the quotidian, the interstitial, the local, and the marginalized. Its contribution to the liberal arts can be evidenced in a number of ways, but first to be overcome is a perception of what folklore study entails that still lingers in the academy: this is as much a fault of academic folklorists failing to communicate their discipline as it is of the academy's marginalization of it. This article highlights three failings that have hindered its integration into the academy: (1) the willingness of folklorists to serve as handmaidens to other disciplines; (2) the tendency to value the creations of the past much more than those of the present; and (3) the tendency to focus on individual groups and what makes them distinct, as opposed to what they share with others. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A