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Folklore: Folklore, conspiracy & network structure

Jack Campin 23 Jan 21 - 05:48 AM
Sandra in Sydney 23 Jan 21 - 05:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jan 21 - 07:46 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Jan 21 - 08:18 AM
Jack Campin 23 Jan 21 - 04:35 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 21 - 04:46 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Jan 21 - 05:48 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Folklore, conspiracy & network structure
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 05:48 AM

I could see the methodology of this being used to study folksongs in the large, the way Steve Roud and Steve Gardham do it. In fact it already is used, though less formally - some common topoi in songs are easily identifiable by anybody.

The folklore of conspiracy theories


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folklore, conspiracy & network structure
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 05:57 AM

fascinating article, thanks for posting it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folklore, conspiracy & network structure
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 07:46 AM

Interesting (not least because of the link it contains to a piece about now quotations get attached to false famous sources). But it really belongs more in the BS section.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folklore, conspiracy & network structure
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 08:18 AM

I see where you're coming from, Jack. Or at least I think I do. It is one of the reasons why, in our circles, Mudcat is an important tool for both spreading and debunking false information. I'm afraid it is also why I think it is essential that dissenting voices should be heard and then evidence can be presented, even if things get a little heated now and then. I know it is wearing for some to see the repetition over and over again of the same mantras which are really only opinions (and I include myself in this) but it is important to understand why we hold such opinions even if they can be shown to be shaky.

When I present my theses, I find it really useful and healthy if those theses are attacked. Sometimes the attacks are laughable and can be ignored but at other times they make you stop and think and reassess your position, or at least make your thesis more defendable.

As a non-academic I am not accountable to any peer-review normally, and forums like this one make a good substitute for that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folklore, conspiracy & network structure
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 04:35 PM

I was thinking of the contrast between generic love-tragedy songs - which often glue together not just floating verses but whole bits of unrelated plot - and songs based on concrete historical incidents or specific local circumstance, which rarely do that. Clerk Saunders is like QAnon, John Henry is like the Jersey bridge.

Your work tends to treat songs as entities which ramify as they evolve - the angle taken by that folklore work on conspiracies is to see them as things that fuse and break up, so you can't really count them as distinct things-in-process.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folklore, conspiracy & network structure
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 04:46 PM

There are ties to the Urban Legend research work of Jan Harold Brunwand, with his Vanishing Hitchhiker and other urban legend studies.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Folklore, conspiracy & network structure
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 05:48 PM

Tell me about it, Jack! it's a constant headache trying to classify ballads that have been hybridised and rewritten using bits of other ballads. The Child Ballads are only the tip of the iceberg and the Died for Love family took ages to sort out. We're struggling with the various manifestations of the Drowsy Sleeper songs currently. The Scottish, English and American ecotypes are easy enough to sort but when you take it back to the early 18th century with embryonic versions it's not so easy to sort.


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