Explaining Traditions: Folk Behavior in Modern Culture

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University Press of Kentucky, Jul 25, 2011 - Social Science - 546 pages

Why do humans hold onto traditions? Many pundits predicted that modernization and the rise of a mass culture would displace traditions, especially in America, but cultural practices still bear out the importance of rituals and customs in the development of identity, heritage, and community. In Explaining Traditions: Folk Behavior in Modern Culture, Simon J. Bronner discusses the underlying reasons for the continuing significance of traditions, delving into their social and psychological roles in everyday life, from old-time crafts to folk creativity on the Internet. Challenging prevailing notions of tradition as a relic of the past, Explaining Traditions provides deep insight into the nuances and purposes of living traditions in relation to modernity. Bronner's work forces readers to examine their own traditions and imparts a better understanding of raging controversies over the sustainability of traditions in the modern world.

 

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Contents

List of Illustrations
On the Meaning and Politics of
Architecture
On Craft in American Consciousness
On Folklore in Human Development
On a Dying Language and Lore
On Storytelling by an African
On the Scatology of an Ethnic
On the Praxis of American Football
On the Internet as a Folk System
Notes
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Simon J. Bronner, Distinguished University Professor of American Studies and Folklore and director of the American Studies doctoral program at Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, is the author of more than a dozen books, including Grasping Things: Folk Material Culture and Mass Society in America and Killing Tradition: Inside Hunting and Animal Rights Controversies. He lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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