You can help by adding to it. As a corollary, Dickens often gives these characters verbal tics or visual quirks such as the dints in the nose of the Marquis.
Overview[ edit ] To fully understand folklore, it is helpful to clarify its component parts: It is well-documented that the term was coined in by the Englishman William Thoms. He fabricated it to replace the contemporary terminology of "popular antiquities" or "popular literature".
The second half of the compound word, loreproves easier to define as its meaning has stayed relatively stable over the last two centuries.
When Thoms first created this term, folk applied only to rural, frequently poor and illiterate peasants. A more modern definition of folk is a social group which includes two or more persons with common traits, who express their shared identity through distinctive traditions.
These now include all "things people make with words verbal lorethings they make with their hands material loreand things they make with their actions customary lore ". The folklorist studies the traditional artifacts of a social group and how they are transmitted.
Transmission is a vital part of the folklore process. Without communicating these beliefs and customs within the group over space and time, they would become cultural shards relegated to cultural archaeologists. For folklore is also a verb.
These folk artifacts continue to be passed along informally, as a rule anonymously and always in multiple variants. The folk group is not individualistic, it is community-based and nurtures its lore in community. For these cultural units  would not be passed along unless they had some continued relevance within the group.
That meaning can however shift and morph. The cleansing rituals of Orthodox Judaism were originally good public health in a land with little water; now these customs signify identification as an Orthodox Jew.
Compare this to brushing your teeth, also transmitted within a group, which remains a practical hygiene and health issue and does not rise to the level of a group-defining tradition. Once it loses its practical purpose, there is no reason for further transmission unless it has been imbued with meaning beyond the initial practicality of the action.
This meaning is at the core of folkloristics, the study of folklore. With an increasingly theoretical sophistication of the social sciences, it has become evident that folklore is a naturally occurring and necessary component of any social group, it is indeed all around us.
It continues to be created, transmitted and in any group is used to differentiate between "us" and "them". Origin and development of folklore studies[ edit ] Main article: A particular figure in this development was Johann Gottfried von Herderwhose writings in the s presented oral traditions as organic processes grounded in locale.
This process was enthusiastically embraced by smaller nations like Finland, Estonia, and Hungary, which were seeking political independence from their dominant neighbours. Its focus was the oral folklore of the rural peasant populations, which were considered as residue and survivals of the past that continued to exist within the lower strata of society.
This interest in stories, sayings and songs continued throughout the 19th century and aligned the fledgling discipline of folkloristics with literature and mythology.
By the turn into the 20th century the number and sophistication of folklore studies and folklorists had grown both in Europe and North America.
Whereas European folklorists remained focused on the oral folklore of the homogenous peasant populations in their regions, the American folklorists, led by Franz Boas and Ruth Benedictchose to consider Native American cultures in their research, and included the totality of their customs and beliefs as folklore.
This distinction aligned American folkloristics with cultural anthropology and ethnologyusing the same techniques of data collection in their field research.
This divided alliance of folkloristics between the humanities in Europe and the social sciences in America offers a wealth of theoretical vantage points and research tools to the field of folkloristics as a whole, even as it continues to be a point of discussion within the field itself.
Congress in conjunction with the Bicentennial Celebration infolkloristics in the United States came of age. It gives voice to a growing understanding that cultural diversity is a national strength and a resource worthy of protection.
Paradoxically, it is a unifying feature, not something that separates the citizens of a country. In the diversity of American folklife we find a marketplace teeming with the exchange of traditional forms and cultural ideas, a rich resource for Americans".
Definition of folk[ edit ] The folk of the 19th century, the social group identified in the original term "folklore"was characterized by being rural, illiterate and poor. They were the peasants living in the countryside, in contrast to the urban populace of the cities. Only toward the end of the century did the urban proletariat on the coattails of Marxist theory become included with the rural poor as folk.
The common feature in this expanded definition of folk was their identification as the underclass of society.
By the s it was understood that social groupsi. The first group that each of us is born into is the family, and each family has its own unique folklore.A Tale of Two Cities is written by Charles Dickens and it takes place in France and England during the troubled times of the French Revolution.
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