An analysis of the concept of folklorism with specific reference to the folk culture of Newfoundland

Dettmer, Elke (1993) An analysis of the concept of folklorism with specific reference to the folk culture of Newfoundland. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Folklorism, an analytical concept that indicates the conscious use of folklore and refers to a variety of phenomena related to the conservation, revival and invention of traditions, has been discussed primarily among German folklorists. This thesis is an application of the concept in a North American context. Folklorism is investigated as an essentially neutral indicator of cultural processes that occur in reaction to specific social and economic conditions and change the function of folkore. In such processes folklore is purposefully used outside its original context, it is preserved, given a second existence, or newly invented according to traditional patterns. The thesis explores the historical conditions that encouraged the process of folklorism and examines the proliferation of contemporary phenomena related to folklorism in Newfoundland. These include such subjects of conventional folklore studies as the custom of mumming, the French minority culture and folk festivals which, however, are analyzed from the perspective of their ideological and commercial underpinnings. Other chapters address how the activities of folklorists themselves influence "the folk" and the related issue of their social responsibility. Particular attention is paid to tourism developments which inevitably influence the folk culture of host societies. As an analytical tool to interpret basic sociocultural processes folklorism has the potential to broaden the field of folklore by addressing social, economic and ideological trends, by integrating the academic and applied aspects of the discipline and by acknowledging the increasingly complex role folklore plays in western societies with their recent emphasis on heritage and cultural conservation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10397
Item ID: 10397
Additional Information: Bibliography :l. [221]-245; Discography : l. [246].
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Folk festivals--Newfoundland and Labrador; Folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador--Government policy; Folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador; Mumming--Newfoundland and Labrador; Public folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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