A quarterly specialized journal
The Message Of Folklore from Bahrain To The World

Research on folk literature and cultural changes: A theoretical approach

Issue 28
Research on folk literature  and cultural changes:  A theoretical approach

Folk culture plays a significant role in cultural and postmodern studies.

As a part of mass culture, folk culture has contributed to the weakening of the dominance of elite literature, which has long prevailed in Western academic institutions. The audience finds themselves in a new cultural space where the once marginal is becoming popular because of the technologies of our time.


For Raymond Williams, there are three types of ‘populism’:
1 - Positive populism denotes that which is accepted by a large number of people.
2 - Populism represents the contrast between High Culture and Popular Culture.
3 - Populism describes the manmade culture that people share among themselves; this meaning calls for another definition of populism, which is that to which the media exposes people for commercial purposes.

Modern technology has made a significant difference to the audience; the process of receiving information is no longer limited by the circumstances and historical conditions that used to govern people’s exposure to elite and sacred concepts. Attention has shifted to daily, marginal and popular culture, and folk culture has become the culture of the masses. It includes graffiti, books, mainstream cinema and folk music, and it is openly available, not limited to art galleries and stadiums; it is street culture for most people.
In postmodern criticism, cultural studies represent semiological signs about thought, culture and life.

Although they are independent of social and political contexts, cultural studies are not merely theoretical. The central aim is to understand culture in all its complicated forms within the social and political contexts.

Therefore, cultural studies involve an interest in rhetoric, folk culture, youth culture, rock culture, mass culture, post modern culture, post-colonialist culture, globalization, Black culture and all other cultural practices. The writings and work of Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, E.P. Thompson and Stuart Hall, which are associated with modern cultural studies, are considered founding texts for cultural studies.


Yusuf Mahmoud

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