For the most part, early folklife scholars saw their work not only in terms of expanding the range of study of traditional ... the diffusion and development of material forms to posit four major areas of American regional folk culture.
Author: Simon J. Bronner
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Literary Criticism
"This handbook surveys the materials, approaches, contexts, and applications of American folklore and folklife studies to guide students and scholars of American folklore, culture, history, and society in the future. In addition to longstanding areas in the 350-year legacy of the subject's study and applications such as folktales and speech, the handbook includes exciting fields that have emerged in the twenty-first century such as the Internet, bodylore, folklore of organizations and networks, sexual orientation, neurodiverse identities, and disability groups. These studies encompass cultural traditions in the United States ranging from bits of slang in private conversations to massive public demonstrations, ancient beliefs to contemporary viral memes, and a simple handshake greeting to festivals encompassing multiple genres and groups. Folklore and folklife studies include material traditions such as buildings and crafts as well as oral and social genres of dance, ritual, drama, and play. Whereas the use of lore often emphasizes speech, song, and story that all people express, the rhetoric of life draws attention to tradition-centered communities such as the Amish and Hasidim, occupational groups and their workaday worlds, and children and other age groups. Significant to the American context has been the cultural diversity and changing national boundaries of the United States, relative youth of the nation and its legacy of mass immigration, mobility of residents and their relation to an indigenous and racialized population, and a varied landscape and settlement pattern. The handbook is a reference, therefore, to American studies as well as the global study of tradition, folk arts, and cultural practice"--