Constructing the Folk Cultural Sphere

Agency, Media and Authority

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Frog University of Helsinki mr.frog@helsinki.fi

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This paper explores the dynamics of agency, media andauthority in the maintenance and construction of the folk cultural sphere– that is, asociety’s generalized perception and understanding of traditional culture. Thephenomenon is explored through a series of cases, organized chronologically, on:medieval manuscript technologies and Snorri Sturluson’s Edda; seventeenth- and eighteenth-century written representationsof Sámi; a nineteenth-century living ethnographic exhibition of Sámi; currentfieldwork documenting Rotenese and Tetun traditions in Indonesia; acommunity-driven living ethnographic exhibition on the island of Java. The finaldiscussion takes an overview of the perspectives gained from the individualcases to consider their broader implications.

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