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Folklore

  • By: Simon J. Bronner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

The term folklore in scholarly usage is used in a broad sense to refer to all forms of traditional knowledge, that is, culturally expressive material gained through word of mouth, imitation and demonstration, and custom. In the narrower sense of popular usage, folklore frequently refers to oral expressions such as jokes, legends, songs, and proverbs. As folk modifies lore as a type of culturally derived knowledge to describe a learning process and social context suggested by tradition, so too can folk describe humor to distinguish those items—visual, material, or oral—that have circulated among members of a group. The professionals who focus their study on folklore have used the label of folklorists since the 19th century, and in the 20th century, a number of them, such ...

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