Cover image for Folklore and folklife, an introduction.
Folklore and folklife, an introduction.
Dorson, Richard M. (Richard Mercer), 1916-1981.
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press [1972]
Physical Description:
x, 561 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR65 .D57 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GR65 .D57 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



"This introduction to the study of folklore and folklife contains an inspiring and spirited mixture of essays, theoretical contributions, practical instructions, and pure encyclopedia articles. It is a very well put together book, written by eighteen researchers who have something to say. One can see here that it is competent educators who have come forward and are narrating. . . . All in all it is a very use-oriented handbook with attractive typography and layout."--Iorn Pio, Journal of American Folklore

Author Notes

In 1957, Richard M. Dorson replaced Stith Thompson as the head of folklore studies at Indiana University, establishing himself as a major scholar and perhaps the foremost influence in the field. Dorson is often called the father of American folklore. In addition, he is given credit for bringing about an international or cross-cultural approach to the subject.

Dorson was editor of the Journal of American Folklore (1959-63), president of the American Folklore Society (1967-68), and author of numerous studies on the subject.

His textbook, American Folklore (1959), which employs a historical approach, was the first comprehensive study of the subject. In it he attempted to bring about what he calls a hemispheric theory, wherein the disciplines of both folklore and history are combined, stressing the intimate bonds between the culture of the folk and the history of the American experience. It is still recognized as a classic work.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

PrefaceRichard M. Dorson
Introduction: Concepts of Folklore and Folklife StudiesRichard M. Dorson
I The Fields of Folklife Studies Oral Folklore
1 Folk NarrativeLinda Dégh
2 Narrative Folk PoetryW. Edson Richmond
3 Folk EpicFelix J. Oinas
4 Proverbs and Proverbial ExpressionsRoger D. Abrahams
5 RiddlesRoger D. Abrahams and Alan Dundes
6 Folk SpeechW. Edson Richmond Social Folk Custom
7 Festivals and CelebrationsRobert J. Smith
8 Recreations and GamesRobert A. Georges
9 Folk MedicineDon Yoder
10 Folk ReligionJohn C. Messenger Material Culture
11 Folk CraftsWarren E. Roberts
12 Folk ArtHenry Glassie
13 Folk ArchitectureWarren E. Roberts
14 Folk CostumeDon Yoder
15 Folk CookeryDon Yoder Folk Arts
16 Folk DramaRoger D. Abrahams
17 Folk MusicGeorge List
18 Folk DanceJoann Wheeler Kealiinohomoku
II The Methods of Folklife Study
1 Fieldwork: Collecting Oral LiteratureDonald A. MacDonald
2 Fieldwork: Recording Material CultureWarren E. Roberts
3 Fieldwork: Recording Traditional MusicGeorge List
4 ArchivingGeorge List
5 The Use of Printed SourcesRichard M. Dorson
6 Folk Atlas MappingRobert Wildhaber
7 The Use of Artifacts and Folk Art in the Folk MuseumJ. Geraint Jenkins
8 The Cultural Geographer and Folklife ResearchE. Estyn Evans