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XV. Give a brief presentation of ETHNOGRAPHY, ETHNOHISTORY and ETHNOLOGY and explain difference among them.

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Unit XIX


I. Look through the words and expressions and learn them:

Ø the forms of artistic creation – форми художнього вираження;

Ø to direct one’s attention towards (to) – спрямовувати свою увагу на;

Ø the reshaping of oral traditions – пристосування усних традицій;

Ø describable and transmissible entity – об’єкт, який описується і передається;

Ø to tie into one narrative package – зв’язати в один тематичний комплекс;

Ø to conflate with – з’єднувати;

Ø catch-all terms – однорідні терміни;

Ø the overall context – загальне оточення;

Ø operative definition – ключове визначення;

Ø to escape from societal consequences – втекти від суспільного оточення

Ø to validate a culture – надавати законної сили культурі;

Ø to formalize – надавати офіційного статусу


II. Read and translate the text:



Folkloristics is the formal academic study of folklore. What actually constitutes folklore is disputed even within the discipline, but generally folklore focuses on the forms of artistic expression communicated within groups. Historically, folklore has directed its attention towards oral narratives such as fairy tales and mythology, but in recent years has gained a strong focus on social science research and no longer limits its study to strictly oral communication.

Scholars specializing in folkloristics are known as folklorists.

The word folklore was first used in 1846. Folklore is the body of expressive culture, including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of that culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The concept of folklore developed as part of the 19th century ideology of romantic nationalism, leading to the reshaping of oral traditions to serve modern ideological goals; only in the 20th century did ethnographers begin to attempt to record folklore without overt political goals. The Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm, collected orally transmitted German tales and published the first series as Children's and Household Tales in 1812.

The term was coined in 1846 by an Englishman, William Thoms, who wanted to use an Anglo-Saxon term for what was then called "popular antiquities." He advocated the deliberate recording and preservation of folklore to document the authentic spirit, tradition, and identity of people. The definition most widely accepted by current scholars of the field is “artistic communication in small groups”, and the term now includes non-verbal art forms and customary practices.

Folklore can be divided into four areas of study:

¨ artifact (such as voodoo dolls),

¨ describable and transmissible entity (oral tradition),

¨ culture,

¨ and behavior(rituals).

These areas do not stand alone however; often a particular item or element may fit into more than one of these areas.

Folklorecan contain religious or mythic elements; it equally concerns itself with the sometimes mundane traditions of everyday life. Folklore frequently ties the practical and the esoteric into one narrative package. It has often been conflated with mythology, and vice versa, because it has been assumed that any figurative story that does not pertain to the dominant beliefs of the time is not of the same status as those dominant beliefs. Thus, Roman religion is called "myth" by Christians. In that way, both "myth" and "folklore" have become catch-all terms for all figurative narratives which do not correspond with the dominant belief structure.

Folktales are general term for different varieties of traditional narrative. The telling of stories appears to be a cultural, universal, common to basic and complex societies alike. Even the forms folktales take are certainly similar from culture to culture, and comparative studies of themes and narrative ways have been successful in showing these relationships. Also it is considered to be an oral tale to be told for everybody.

On the other hand, folklore can be used to accurately describe a figurative narrative, which has no sacred or religious content. Folktales may or may not emerge from a religious tradition, but nevertheless speak to deep psychological issues.

There can be both a moral and psychological scope to the work, as well as entertainment value, depending upon the nature of the teller, the style of the telling, the ages of the audience members, and the overall context of the performance. Folklorists generally resist universal interpretations of narratives and, wherever possible, analyze oral versions of tellings in specific contexts, rather than print sources, which often show the work or bias of the writer or editor.

There are many forms of folklore that are so common, however, that most people do not realize they are folklore, such as riddles, children's rhymes and ghost stories, rumors (including conspiracy theories), gossip, ethnic stereotypes, and holiday customs and life-cycle rituals.

Elements such as dolls, decorative items used in religious rituals, hand-built houses and barns, and handmade clothing and other crafts are considered to be folk artifacts, grouped within the field as "material culture." Additionally, figures that depict characters from folklore, such as statues of the three wise monkeys may be considered to be folklore artifacts, depending on how they are used within a culture. The operative definition would depend on whether the artifacts are used and appreciated within the same community in which they are made, and whether they follow a community aesthetic.

Folklorist William Bascom states that folklore has many cultural aspects, such as allowing for escape from societal consequences. In addition, folklore can also serve to validate a culture (romantic nationalism), as well as transmit a culture's morals and values. Folklore can also be used to assert social pressures, or relive them, in the case of humor and carnival. In addition, folklorists study medical, supernatural, religious, and political belief systems as an essential, often unspoken, part of expressive culture.

Many rituals can be considered folklore, whether formalized in a cultural or religious system (e.g. weddings, baptisms, harvest festivals) or practiced within a family or secular context. Additionally, children's counting-out games can be defined as behavioral folklore.


III. Find English equivalents for:

  в межах окремого народу  
  стояти окремо  
  невербальні форми мистецтва  
  образне оповідання  
порівняльне вивчення тем та способів розповіді  
  глибокі психологічні питання  
відповідати естетичним цілям суспільства  
передавати моральні та культурні цінності  


IV.Give Ukrainian equivalents of those expressions in the text:

§ orally transmitted tales;

§ the deliberate recording and preservation of folklore;

§ customary practices;

§ dominant belief;

§ to have no sacred or religious content;

§ both a moral and psychological scope;

§ to assert or relieve social pressures


V. Interpret the following in English:

¨ to gain a strong focus;

¨ overt political goals;

¨ 'popular antiquities';

¨ the authentic spirit, tradition, and identity of people;

¨ mundane traditions of everyday life;

¨ subculture;

¨ nationalism;

¨ stereotype

VI. Match the words with their definitions:

fairy tale information, that is passed from one person to another about other people’s behaviour and private lives, often including unkind or untrue remarks;
legend smth that you do not understand and cannot explain;
myth an old, well-known story, often about brave people, adventures, or magic events;
proverb the feeling that smth is definitely true or definitely exists;
joke a ceremony that is always performed in the same way, in order to mark an important religious or social occasion;
custom an ancient story, esp. one invented in order to explain natural or historical events;
popular belief an invented story that is difficult to believe, in which magical things happen;
gossip a story about the spirit of a dead person that is intended to frighten people;
ritual a short well-known statement that gives advice or express smth that is generally true;
riddle smth that you say or do to make people laugh, esp. a funny story or trick;
rhyme information or a story that is passed from one person to another and which may or may not be true;
ghost story smth that is done by people in a particular society because it is traditional;
rumour a short poem or song, esp. one that is used by children


VII. Choose the facts from the text to characterize:

v Folkloristics, its directions and focuses.

v Folklore is the body of expressive culture.

v The etymology of the word 'folklore', it roots.

v Folklore contains religious and mythic elements.

v Folklore equally concerns itself with both mundane and sacred contents of everyday life.

v Folklore has many cultural aspects.


VIII. Answer the fact-finding questions trying not to give a short answer, add some information to develop the idea:

1. What constitutes folklore?

2. How did the concept of folklore develop?

3. Who began to attempt to record folklore without political goals?

4. How is the field defined by current scholars?

5. What areas of study can folklore be divided?

6. Folklore frequently ties the practical and the esoteric into one narrative package, doesn't it?

7. What is general term for different varieties of traditional narratives?

8. Upon what depends moral, psychological and entertainment value of folktales?

9. Why do folklorists try to analyze oral versions of tellings?

10. What forms and elements of folklore do you know?


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