Overview of Basic Concepts

Folklore, Fairy Tale, Culture, and Media

Authored by: Jill Terry Rudy

The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138946156
eBook ISBN: 9781315670997
Adobe ISBN:


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A history of communicative media may seem linear and progressive, rising past folklore to modern technologies—from human speech into a succession of writing implements, printing presses, photographic imaging, moving and talking pictures, audio and audiovisual broadcasting, and digital computing and handheld devices. Yet staying attuned to tradition requires us to insist on recognizing human beings as communicative omnivores whose expressive media overlap and expand rather than supersede and replace. Human beings use all available means to share dilemmas and insights about dealing with recurring life situations. The ideas and patterns associated with traditions, and expressed as stories, sayings, songs, customs, celebrations, objects, and artifacts, sometimes seem to have such a life of their own that scholars at one time thought of these expressions as superorganic entities. More recently, scholarship focuses on how people in groups select and perform traditional expressions in specific, informal, close interactions. Thinking of fairy-tale cultures and media leads to remembering, critiquing, and honoring cultural and communicative differences while holding oral communication as prime and investigating the consequences and pleasures of intermedial mingling.

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