Introduction to Folklore
The purpose of the course is to introduce you to the subjects of the discipline of folklore, their occurrence in social life, and the scholarly analysis of their use in culture. As a discipline, folklore explores the manifestations of expressive forms in both traditional and moderns societies, in small-scale groups where people interact with each other face-to-face, and in large-scale, often industrial societies, in which the themes, symbols, and forms that permeate traditional life occupy new positions, or occur in different occasions in everyday life. For some of you the distinction between low and high culture, or artistic and popular art, will be helpful in placing folklore forms in modern societies. For others, these distinction will not be helpful. In traditional societies, and within social groups that define themselves ethnically, professionally, or culturally, within modern heterogeneous societies, and traditional societies in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia, folklore plays a more prominent role in society, than it appears to play in literate cultures on the same continents. Consequently the study of folklore and the analysis of its forms are appropriate in traditional as well as modern societies and any society that is in a transitional phase.