starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)
[personal profile] starlady
In other words, the still-pervasive notion that folktales, especially fairy tales, are primarily "kids' stuff" owes a great deal to 19th-century racism, classism, and religious bigotry.

Endemic to this line of theorizing is the assumption that the folklorist, the one collecting and interpreting folklore, is not of the folk: the folk are always the Other. Traditional folklorists were educated bourgeois outsiders who traveled to rural areas in their own lands—or, better yet, foreign locales—since one cannot find folklore among one's own group, because only "they" have folklore—"we" have Culture (Toelken 1979, 3–7, 265). This did not change until Alan Dundes redefined the folk as "any group of people whatsoever who share at least one common factor" (Dundes 1965, 2)—thus including everyone, including educated bourgeois folklorists, in the category of the "folk." […] [note 7]

note 7: This distinction between the "folk" and the "not-folk"—as well as the revision of these definitions—is of obvious relevance to fandom studies. Fans have traditionally been figured as the Other, responding in unofficial and often "bizarre" ways to the official culture industry. The rise of the "aca-fan" as a category has gone a long way toward dispensing with these problematic assumptions.
--Catherine Tosenberger, "Kinda Like the Folklore of Its Day: Supernatural, fairy tales, and ostension"
(Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 4, 2.6-7)
It's not that this is news, necessarily, but I do like it when people are able to synthesize so cogently and pointedly. And in the next paragraph there are some very perceptive comments on class (and folklore) in The X-Files. Oh, TWC, I ♥ you.
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