A Cross-Boundary Dialogue in Need: Racial, Ethnic, or Folk Groups?

Juwen Zhang, Wanda G. Addison, Margaret Magat, Mark Y. Miyake, Raymond Summerville, Anthony Bak Buccitelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As we enter the twenty-first century, reflexive approaches to the history of folklore studies around the world, along with the antiracist and decolonizing efforts in academic studies in general, have led to a series of paradigmatic shifts away from the Eurocentric systems of defining genre, folk, racial group, and identity. What remains to be essential, yet to be fully subverted, is the concept and practice of “racial/ethnic groups” that is still used by folklorists in studying folklores in cultural groups. Continuously drawing the boundaries through the concept of “race” is nothing but reinforcing the existing racist system. Unless we build dialogues across the existing “racial” boundaries and seek new common terms and concepts, we are not able to make progress in understanding and accepting the nature and reality of our hybridized folklore traditions that inform the folk groups that we are in, as well as our own personal identities. It is with this premise that the authors contributing to this piece initiate this cross-boundary dialogue, expecting to inspire more people to join in.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-452
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of American Folklore
Volume136
Issue number542
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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