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Humanities 2018, 7(2), 35;

Folklore in China: Past, Present, and Challenges

Department of Japanese and Chinese, Willamette University, Salem, OR 97301, USA
School of Sociology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Full-Text   |   PDF [362 KB, uploaded 23 May 2018]


This article first outlines the long history of folklore collection in China, and then describes the disciplinary development in the 20th century. In Section 3, it presents the current situation in terms of disciplinary infrastructure, development, contribution, and challenge, with a focus on the recent practice of safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage. These accounts are largely based on the views of the Chinese folklorists. In the final section, this article discusses the issues of cultural continuity, integration, and self-healing mechanisms in Chinese culture by putting Chinese folkloristics in a historical and world perspective. This paper suggests that, to understand Chinese folklore and culture, one must be aware of the most basic differences between Chinese fundamental beliefs and values and those of theWest, and that Chinese folklore and folkloristics present new challenges to the current paradigms put forward in the post-colonial, post-modern, and imperial ideologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chinese folklore; Chinese folkloristics; folklore collection; folklore categorization; disciplinarity; Intangible Cultural Heritage in China Chinese folklore; Chinese folkloristics; folklore collection; folklore categorization; disciplinarity; Intangible Cultural Heritage in China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, J. Folklore in China: Past, Present, and Challenges. Humanities 2018, 7, 35.

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