New Methodological Orientations of Greek Folklore

Author Information

Manolis Varvounis,
Democritus University of Thrace, Greece

DOI: 10.47298/comela22.10-2
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in the Mediterranean and Europe 2022

Abstract

In this paper, the theoretical and methodological changes that determine Greek folklore in the first two decades of the 21st century are examined. Also, I include the collaboration and the fruitful dialogue of folklore with the social anthropology in Greece, and its scientific results. The study of folk culture, as established by older folklorists, focused on cultural continuities, for reasons amply discussed in the relevant bibliography. However, the perception of cultural transformation in the area of folk culture also led to the study of a series of exemplary modern or postmodern phenomena from contemporary or modern folklore, where the correlation with the historical, social and cultural parameters now became mandatory. Therefore, the dominant concept of cultural differentiation was introduced to the fields of folklore and ethnography, too, especially in the form of the study of modernist (and, as a rule, urban) phenomena.

The older forms of Greek folklore relate to the agro-livestock economy of the societies that gave birth to and ‘consumed’ them. This paper refers to Greek popular culture, both in the traditional and in modern and popular forms and expressions. In any case, ‘tradition’ constitutes the basis of folk culture events, with regards to the concepts of the symbolic functionality of ritual forms and the strategies for acquiring social prestige, where the latter is often the driving force of the various folklore events. Indeed, social prestige is often the connective link of each commune, a fact repeated up to the present, despite the changes in the traditional communes’ social base and status.


Keywords: Greek folklore, methodology, ethnology, urban folklore, linguistic anthropology


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