Welcome to my course, “Folklore of American Groups: Occupational and Regional.” Although this is a 300-level course, there are no pre-requisites and no prior background in the study of folklore is required. Folklore is the body of expressive culture, including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and so forth within a particular population. In the first half of this course, we will study the folklore of a number of occupational groups. The earliest investigations of occupational folklore arose from an interest in tracing the derivation of words and songs used within outdoor manly trades such as sailors and western cowboys. Later studies expanded into an interest in increasingly industrialized work groups such as coal miners and railroad workers. Regional groups, the focus of the second half of our course, have yielded some of the most bountiful folklore material in the country because geographic features tend to create relative isolation and encourage a community spirit that sustains long-standing
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Southern United States, 21st century, popular media, bountiful folklore material, major folklore regions