Between the Cracks of History: Essays on Teaching and Illustrating Folklore

By Francis Edward Abernethy; Carolyn Fiedler Satterwhite | Go to book overview

Toward a
Definition of
Folk Culture

Joe S. Graham

Folklore has long been of great interest to many academicians as well as non-academicians. The Texas Folklore Society has a very long history and has preserved much of the traditional culture in this state, as has the American Folklore Society for the United States. However, there has been some confusion as to exactly what the term folklore means. The definition I present below is the approach I use in all of my classes which deal with culture.

From an anthropological perspective, culture is the human-made part of our environment, as opposed to nature. Humans use their culture to organize their world and make it more liveable. There are many different ways of looking at and organizing the concepts associated with culture. For example, we use the term ma-

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