1. bookVolume 15 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

To Explain Tradition

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 1 - 18
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Tradition has been claimed to be a keyword in the folklore lexicon. Yet the word has not proved central to the thinking of many folklorists. More often, the term is simply used to mark territory. By characterizing certain songs, tales, dances, or customs as traditions, such expressions and behaviors are declared to be part of the discipline’s proper subject. But the term is usually theoretically empty. It is rarely defined, and it raises no critical questions. In this essay, tradition is defined, the critical questions evoked by this definition are specified, and some of the ways that folklorists might go about answering these questions are delineated.

Keywords

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