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Thinking Like a Folklorist: Not All or Nothing, but Something
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1/31/2018 at 10:33:15 PM GMT
Posts: 92
Thinking Like a Folklorist: Not All or Nothing, but Something

By Maribel Alvarez — 

“How do we know what we know? To make sense of the world, folklorists use methods borrowed in equal measures from the humanities and social sciences. Sometimes our work feels more interpretative than scientific. But this distinction can be misleading. Whether we’re listening for the ‘truth’ in a family anecdote, a rumor, or a song, or conducting a systematic study through observation, pattern-finding, and formal interviews, we folklorists try to interpret human behavior to gain understanding, respect, and collaboration.

The calling card of a folklorist’s trade is the ethnographic interview (from Greek, ‘ethno’ for people and ‘grapho’ to report or document). Ethnography is the effort to learn about people by learning from people. …”

To continue reading, visit the full article on the Southwest Folklife Alliance website.

Alvarez, Maribel. "Thinking Like a Folklorist: Not All or Nothing, but Something." Southwest Folklife Alliance. <>

Last edited Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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