Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction

Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction

Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction

Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction

Synopsis

Oring's introductory folklore text consists of a series of essays byleading scholars that give the student a solid sense of major folkloretopics and interpretive techniques. Since 1986, when it was firstpublished, this book has met the need for good instructional material ata time of tremendous growth in folklore programs and introductorycourses in colleges and universities around the world.

Excerpt

The past thirty years have witnessed a tremendous growth in the number of folklore programs and courses to be found in North American universities. There are sixteen degree-granting programs (several offering the Ph.D); another eighty institutions offer minors or concentrations in folklore, and over five hundred colleges and universities offer courses in folklore of some kind. An increasing proportion of these courses is being taught by graduates of folklore programs who hold folklore degrees.

The proliferation of folklore courses, particularly introductory courses, has not been matched by any similar increase in the variety of introductory books available for use in these courses. The introductory books published over the past twenty years have their own particular strengths and weaknesses. But because they have been few in number and because they have been large and formally structured textbooks, they have not, for the most part, provided the kind of curricular flexibility that many folklore instructors seem to desire. Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction is not a textbook, nor is it meant to directly compete with the folklore textbooks currently available. It is intended to provide an alternative to the textbook approach to introductory instruction.

Folk Groups and Folklore Genres is meant to be used in two ways. First, it is meant to be used in quarter- or semester-length introductory courses. The chapters should serve as core essays to be articulated with supplementary readings. The supplementary readings will depend to a great degree upon the major interpretive perspectives, folklore forms, and folk groups which an instructor wishes to emphasize. For example, although no chapter on foodways appears in this book, supplementary readings and discussion on foodways can be keyed to the chapter "Ethnic Groups and Ethnic Folklore," in which aspects of foodways are considered. Structural analysis might be appropriately introduced in . . .

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