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Folklore and Folklife

Defining "folklore"--one of the favorite academic games of the 20th Century--has enlivened most recent sessions of the American Folklore Society and many university classes and student forums.

In the English-speaking world, two related terms are now being used for folk--cultural phenomena and their study--folklore and folklife. While both contain the word "folk" and imply relationship to some sort of community and some sort of tradition, the "lore" in "folklore" carries with it suggestions of literary aspects of culture, the "life" in "folklife" suggests totality of relationships in community. Hence, in my usage of the terms, I prefer to ...

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