DSpace Repository


Dokumentart: (wissenschaftlicher) Artikel
Date: 1972
Language: English
Faculty: 6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Empirische Kulturwissenschaft
DDC Classifikation: 390 - Customs, etiquette and folklore
Keywords: Folklore <Wort>
License: Publishing license excluding print on demand
Show full item record


The Terms "Science of Folklore" and "Folklore". — That discipline which is concerned with the study of folklore is known as the "science of folklore". The term "folklore" itself was coined in 1846 by W. J. Thoms (writing under the pseudonym of Ambrose Merten), who preferred not to make use of the expression "populär literature": "By the bye it is more a Lore than a Literature, and would be most aptly described by a good Saxon Compound, Folk-Lore — the Lore of the People" (Letter to the Editor. In The Athenaeum. Ldn, 1846, no. 982, p. 862). In this Compound the word "folk" describes the people in the sense of those with little education; "lore" denotes experiences, knowledge and traditions which have been handed down orally. The term "folklore" gained currency and within a few decades was widespread in some of the Romance countries, in Scandinavia, in the Slavonic countries and FOLKLORE also outside Europe. In some countries it competes with other designations; thus in Italy folklore and tradizioni populari are still used side by side, while in France traditions populaires has remained the more common expression. In the German-speaking countries the term Folklore was at first accepted in research work; thus Gustav Meyer spoke of the "high moral value of folklore" for the "awareness of home and fatherland" (1885). A decade later, however, the use of the term was disparaged for patriotic and nationalist reasons and older compounds embodying the German word Volk again took its place. The new term was only accepted in Germany in connection with individual international undertakings; thus in 1907 Scandinavian and German scholars founded the Association of Folklore Fellows, whose series of publications entitled Folklore Fellows' Communications (FFC) have remained to this date an important focal point for folklore research. The term Folklore did not come into populär German usage until after 1945 and is used in this general sense to denote picturesque customs (see below: II, 3). The ground covered by the term "folklore" has not been exactly defined. In the scientific parlance of the Western countries it is true that customs and usage, forms of superstition and piety, even working techniques and manifestations of material culture are sometimes included under the term; in general, however, folklore is taken to designate the oral tradition in certain typical forms which can be regarded as the prelude or a parallel to literature. Folklorists in the English-speaking countries have therefore suggested the term "verbal art", though this has not found an equivalent elsewhere.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)