For anyone interrested in these discussions (#1), currently over on uk.music.folk there is an enormous thread on the subject of "Folk wannabes" which has digressed into "what is (English) Folk" - in a very thoughtful and intellegent way. Mainly talking about folk music (it the traditional sense) vs. art and religious music rather than "is
folk and if not why" stuff.
As I said, it's a large convoluted thread; if you want to find the interresting branches you could scan the messages from Jack Campin (posting as BogusAddress) and Pete Wilton.
#1] Generally I'm not, but the messages referred to have almost changed my mind . .