Thursday, 27 October 2011
It might seem like an oxymoron to mix folklore and the digital realm together, but many people forget that the field isn't all about history. Folkloristics is actually a specific part of anthropology, which also studies contemporary cultures, practises and traditions. As such, a background or interest in folklore can be integrated into many current jobs, from archiving, business management and events co-ordinating.
My job is in digital marketing. Every day I communicate with bloggers and webmasters from all over the world who write about different things, from mothering and DIY to finance and travel. Every one of these genres has its own folklore and it's up to me to be aware of that and use it to help me in my job. I need to be sensitive to some issues and take advantage of others in order to form a relationship.
The internet is a breeding ground for folklore because it's so massive. One group of people may use Twitter much more often than another (such as tech bloggers) while maybe retirement webmasters prefer an email or a phone call. I know that if I'm speaking to someone based in Finland, I won't expect any responses from them on Midsummer's Eve because it's a Finnish holiday. A craft blogger may prefer a more creative competition idea than someone who runs a finance site.
By researching the folklore of each internet group that I'm frequently in touch with and finding out a little bit about each individual person, it gives me an edge when reaching out to them. Just because you're not in a job that deals with history doesn't mean that folklore study can't help with your job.
The Denver Post has done a great little article about something that we don't often think about when it comes to Halloween: plants!
Some of the folklore is well-known and widespread, such as garlic warding off vampires and rosemary keeping away witches; but there are other more rare examples in the article, such as sitting under the European Elder on midsummer's eve allowing one to witness the King of Fairyland.
Check out the article - it's well worth a moment of your time.