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.
References in periodicals archive ?
In oral cultures, complex cultural evolution is impossible because the units of selection reside within individual human brains.
She then goes on in her first chapter to examine Caribbean and African women's diverse relations to orality, looking to storytelling, song, poetry, the weaving of textiles, and the collection of oral tales to demonstrate the complex relation between these diverse forms of oral culture and the range of women's voices that have been inscribed therein.
Although Michel's youthful ambition was to become a published writer, she was acquainted from an early age with the oral culture of her native Haute-Marne.
In an oral culture, collectively arriving at the 'true' version is best seen as a way of establishing social consensus.
In a basically oral culture, the old are the ones who remember stories, who have a store of memory," Fuentes writes.
We're witnessing the beginning of an earthshaking transformation of human society away from print culture and toward oral culture.
It has shrewd things to say about the Westernization of Russia, about the role of women, about the professionalization of fortune-telling, about patterns of urbanization and which practices were prevalent where, and when, about the movement of ideas and practices from print culture into oral culture, and vice versa.
That this work was undertaken in Canada, however, may speak to a national interest in inclusiveness; indeed, when the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing -- the main international forum for scholars in book history -- meets for the first time in Canada in 1998, a proposed theme will be "interactions and boundaries between print and oral culture.
Krupat's family, like his later Native American friends, inherited a history of genocide, but the oral culture (or, in urban terms, illiteracy) within which his Russian grandmother lived seemed to him as a young boy a painful prison to be escaped at all costs, as was his parents' narrow world of 'Jews without money' (p.
Those with a taste for something less epic, though, might prefer Chamoiseau's earlier Solibo Magnificent, an allegory of the death of Creole oral culture.
In a well illustrated and lucidly argued comparison of Elizabethan printed dramatic texts with examples from the late-medieval manuscript tradition, she demonstrates how the linear logic of reading in the printed text operated in an entirely different way from a manuscript text, geared to the oral culture of a cry of players.