|Bibliography: Essential Texts for Children's Folklore Studies|
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Folkloristic studies of aging usually concern childhood and adolescence, but since the 1990s more studies have appeared examining folklore as an adaptive device across the life course, including pregnancy and birth, adulthood, and old age. A great example is the relatively new customs of the "mid-life crisis,” which Stanley Brandes (1987) convincingly shows to be associated with American numerological beliefs and religious traditions. The best of the older adult studies refer to the period of old age as producing its own traditions instead of remembering past ages: Bronner 1996; Hunt, Zeitlin, and Hufford 1978; Myerhoff 1980; Mullen 1992. Excellent guides to the vast literature and subjects of children’s folklore, often with more social psychological perspectives than studies of ethnicity, occupation, and region, are Sutton-Smith, Mechling, Johnson, and McMahon 1995 and Tucker 2008. Among the most cited studies of children’s folklore, especially oral and social genres, are Bronner 1988, Factor 1988, Knapp and Knapp 1976, Opie and Opie 2000, Sutton-Smith 1981, and Widdowson 1977. One can also consult the studies of children’s play in the category of games and play. The indexed journal Children’s Folklore Review published since 1988 by the American Folklore Society is an invaluable source for the development of folkloristic studies of childhood. Pregnancy and Birth as a life stage receives worthy attention in Dundes 2003 here and Davis-Floyd in the category of customs.
Bronner, Simon J. American
Children’s Folklore. Annotated
Edition. Little Rock: August House, 1988.
Dundes, Lauren, ed. The
Manner Born: Birth Rites in Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Walnut Creek, CA:
AltaMira Press, 2003.
Factor, June. Captain
Cook Chased A Chook: Children’s Folklore in Australia. New York: Viking
Grider, Sylvia Ann, ed. "Children’s Folklore.” Western Folklore. Special Issue. 39, no.
3 (July 1980).
Knapp, Mary, and Herbert Knapp. One Potato Two Potato…: The
Secret Education of American Children. New York: W. W. Norton, 1976.
Opie, Iona, and Peter Opie. The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren. New York: New York Review
of Books Classics, 2000.
Sutton-Smith, Brian. The
Folkstories of Children. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Sutton-Smith, Brian, Jay Mechling, Thomas W. Johnson,and
Felicia McMahon, eds. Children’s Folklore: A Source Book.
Logan: Utah State University Press, 1999.
Tucker, Elizabeth. Children’s
Folklore: A Handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008.
Widdowson, John. If
You Don’t Be Good: Verbal Social Control in Newfoundland. St. Johns:
Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1977.
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