1st Edition

Folklore: The Basics

ISBN 9781138774957
Published September 28, 2016 by Routledge
240 Pages

USD $24.95

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Book Description

Folklore: The Basics is an engaging guide to the practice and interpretation of folklore. Taking examples from around the world, it explores the role of folklore in expressing fundamental human needs, desires, and anxieties that often are often not revealed through other means. Providing a clear framework for approaching the study of folklore, it introduces the reader to methodologies for identifying, documenting, interpreting and applying key information about folklore and its relevance to modern life. From the Brothers Grimm to Internet Memes, it addresses such topics as:

  • What is folklore?
  • How do we study it?
  • Why does folklore matter?
  • How does folklore relate to elite culture?
  • Is folklore changing in a digital age?

With case studies, suggestions for reading and a glossary of key terminology, Folklore: The Basics supports readers in becoming familiar with folkloric traditions and interpret cultural expression. It is an essential read for anyone approaching the study of folklore for the first time.

Table of Contents


1. What is Folklore, and Why Does It Matter? Problem and Practice

2. What Does Folklore Denote? Identification and Annotation

3. What Does Folklore Connote? Analysis and Explanation

4. What Is Folklore’s Relevance? Implication and Application.



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Simon J. Bronner is distinguished professor of American Studies and Folklore at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, USA. He has previously taught at Harvard University, Leiden University, Osaka University and the University of California at Davis. He is the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of American Studies online for Johns Hopkins University Press, Material Worlds Book Series for the University Press of Kentucky; and the Jewish Cultural Studies for Littman. He serves as president of the Fellows of the American Folklore Society.