Smart phones, tablets, Facebook, Twitter, and wireless Internet connections are the latest technologies to have become entrenched in our culture. Although traditionalists have argued that computer-mediated communication and cyberspace are incongruent with the study of folklore, Trevor J. Blank sees the digital world as fully capable of generating, transmitting, performing, and archiving vernacular culture. Folklore in the Digital Age documents the emergent cultural scenes and expressive folkloric communications made possible by digital “new media” technologies.
New media is changing the ways in which people learn, share, participate, and engage with others as they adopt technologies to complement and supplement traditional means of vernacular expression. But behavioral and structural overlap in many folkloric forms exists between on- and offline, and emerging patterns in digital rhetoric mimic the dynamics of previously documented folkloric forms, invoking familiar social or behavior customs, linguistic inflections, and symbolic gestures.
Folklore in the Digital Age provides insights and perspectives on the myriad ways in which folk culture manifests in the digital age and contributes to our greater understanding of vernacular expression in our ever-changing technological world.
Trevor J. Blank is lecturer in American Studies and Folklore at Pennsylvania State University–Harrisburg, the editor of Folklore and the Internet (USUP 2009), and the editor of New Directions in Folklore, an open-access journal.
“Folk Culture in the Digital Age is an excellent resource for scholars interested in how vernacular expressions and new media technologies interact and shape one another.”
—Journal of Folklore Research