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A people's folklore is a collection of stories and customs that have been passed down through the generations without being recorded. Folklorists began compiling and publishing folklore in the 19th century. How does folklore influence conflict and violence? First, I demonstrate that Romantic Nationalism influenced the development of the field of folklore, which facilitated nation-building in Europe during the 19th century. Second, I demonstrate that folktales frequently perpetuate violence against minority groups by perpetuating negative stereotypes about them. Last but not least, I talk about violent folklore genres like war, vengeance, and heroic tales.

Folklore: What is it?

In general, the term "folklore" refers to cultural expressions like stories, jokes, beliefs, proverbs, legends, myths, music, songs, dances, costumes, food, and festivals that help people and groups form and spread a common identity. However, there is very little agreement among folklorists regarding either how to define folklore or how to explain the issues surrounding its meaning and purpose.

The Romantic nationalism of the early nineteenth century was primarily responsible for the interest in folklore. To study various facets of "the folk" and folklife, enthusiastic intellectuals, amateurs, and artists began collecting various forms of folklore material. In the beginning, folklore was thought of as "the lore," or the materials used in folklore, of "the folk," or the people who use them. The people who discovered folklore thought of the "folk" as rural or peasant groups because they were the main people who carried different traditions that were slowly disappearing as a result of urbanization and industrialization during the transition to modernity. The attempts to investigate and preserve various aspects of folklife were motivated by the bourgeois's nostalgia for the "paradise lost." In certain nations, the rising interest in legends studies was likewise persuaded by the eighteenth-century Edification. From this point of view, the folk and their customs were thought to be primitive, so they needed to be studied to change. Early folklorists primarily focused on the transmission of oral traditions within rural communities, such as ballads, folktales, epics, and sagas.

Folklore studies underwent a paradigm shift in both theory and approach in the 1960s. The old idea of folklore contained class, gender, and national bias, which was discovered by folklorists. In addition, new research streams pointed out that folklore was always situated within some particular space and time, in contrast to earlier research that approached it as authentic and ahistorical artifacts. Folklore tends to be process-centered, context-sensitive, and performance-oriented, according to recent studies. The term "folk" refers to any group of people who share some commonalities, such as occupation, language, religion, or ethnicity, according to a current and influential conception of folklore. The majority of people belong to more than one folk group. Folklore studies were able to expand into previously unexplored areas of inquiry thanks to the paradigm shift.

Studies in folklore (alt. folkloristics) as a field of study continue to fight for its place in academia, where it has rarely achieved autonomy. Folklore is typically studied alongside literature, history, anthropology, cultural studies, or ethnology in most nations. The majority of folklore material is gathered through interviews, participant observation, and fieldwork. Folkloric imagination can be derived from a wide range of secondary sources, including photographs, archival materials, autobiographies, letters, and autobiographical diaries. However, there are a variety of geographical and chronological variations in the availability of sources. Because "folk culture" was once thought to be of low status and stood in opposition to "high culture," there are sometimes only records of it that have been selected and filtered by "high culture." When folkloristics became a field of study in the West, its primary focus was on preserving Western folklore. Missionaries, travelers, and anthropologists occasionally gathered folklore from other countries. There are also instances in which colonial powers actively discouraged and even forbade native scholars from collecting expressions from folklore. There have been claims made in recent discussions about the state of folklore scholarship that contemporary folklorists need to pay even more attention to the political aspect of folklore research to know who is studying whose traditions and on what terms.


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