oral tradition

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oral tradition

the aspects of a society's CULTURE that are passed on by word of mouth. Some societies (see NONLITERATE SOCIETY) may rely solely on this method of documenting their history and GENEALOGY through song, poetry and narrative. In literate societies the oral tradition usually plays an increasingly marginal role in cultural transmission and may often stand in opposition to the dominant forms of representation. Whilst anthropologists have long been interested in folklore and story-telling, sociologists and social historians are now also using this method to document the histories of groups (e.g. women, ethnic minorities and the working class) who have not previously been focused upon in the written tradition. see also ORAL HISTORY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
In this world, primarily oral cultures are doomed to inferior status.
The Black lexis, ripe with the oral culture of Africa, gives the Black artist a fantastic history of metaphorical awareness and metaphorical choices (Smitherman 1973: 265), many of which are used in rap music.
In oral cultures, complex cultural evolution is impossible because the units of selection reside within individual human brains.
"We have always tried to walk the line between the oral culture and the world of academic science" he says.
Here Spencer concludes that even though Bradbury depicts a "predominately oral culture as mind-numbing" (73), the preservers of texts are nonetheless those who memorize and recite.
Chapter 2 outlines the ways in which the commedia dell'arte's improvisational rules adapted the strictly oral Homeric formulae to suit the requirements of the drama in a residually oral culture. Thus, for example, when the romantic plots that the actresses brought from the commedia erudite became the norm, opposite pairs of actors would improvise the dialogue to advance the action and prepare for the next entrances.
Not surprisingly, then, Hesse also documents a backlash against women authors, just as, previously, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, among others, had attacked women's prominence in the oral culture of salons.
In a village like Buin, with a strong oral culture, local people could remember where soldiers had died.
(People needed virtue, so Zeus gave it to them.) Havelock reminds us that knowledge in an oral culture can really only be codified as figures engaged in action: "data...have to be stated as events in time."(13) Havelock also reminds us that "the basic grammatical expression" associated with the oral tradition "would be simply the phrase 'and next....'"(14) Writing, on the other hand, permits knowledge to be formulated in "a syntax, [in] which [abstract assertions are] true for all situations and so timeless."(15) Simonides's poem, at least the heart of it, consists of an abstract, hence "timeless," assertion.
Eke); "Writing in the Wind: Recreating Oral Culture in an Online Community" (Chuck Hays); "Hands-On Communication: The Rituals Limitations of Web Publishing in the Alternative Zine Community" (Jennifer Rauch); and "Grappling with Gendered Modernity: The Spectacle of Miss World in the News" (Radhika E.