Folk culture specialists?

Anna Weronika Brzezińska


Every discipline has its own special terms regarded to be the “difficult” ones. Very often these are part of the achievements of many generations of scholars, in the same time being components of colloquial language. Such an example for ethnology would be „folk culture”. The term is popularly understood as idealized pictures of Polish camp’s social life. For specialists, though, the term is very wide-ranging, multidimensional and set in a specific historical context. Still there is a ground for agrement and creation between academic research and popular understanding that involves activities taken by employees of cultural institutions. In their struggle to respond to a public demand, they face a dilemma of how folk culture should be widespread. On one hand, they see the presented topics to be appealing, they also recognize the possibilities lying in its educational values (craft’s demonstrations and workshops). On the other hand, they are aware of its artificialness and of their setting up meanings yet outdated. These dilemmas may as well be associated to the way ethnologists are educated in the field of regional cultures, where they are trained for potential ‘specialists’ of folk culture.


folk culture; ethnography; museology; tradition; folklore

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