Top 26 Alan Dundes Quotes of 2020

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“Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”

― Alan Dundes

“Future orientation is combined with a notion and expectation of progress, and nothing is impossible.”

― Alan Dundes

“The study of folklore is largely the study of particular folklore genres: myth, folktale, legend, ballad, proverb, riddle, superstition, etc.”

― Alan Dundes

“They do not merely collect texts; they must also gather data about the context and the informant and, above all, write an analysis of the items based upon the course readings and lecture material on folklore theory and method.”

― Alan Dundes

“Americans have a penchant for the future and tend to disregard the past.”

― Alan Dundes

“If a student takes the whole series of my folklore courses including the graduate seminars, he or she should learn something about fieldwork, something about bibliography, something about how to carry out library research, and something about how to publish that research.”

― Alan Dundes

“Ancestor worship, or filial piety so characteristic of Asian cultures, for example, does not really resonate with Americans who favor children, not grandparents.”

― Alan Dundes

“Life, it seems, is nothing if not a series of initiations, transitions, and incorporations.”

― Alan Dundes

“There can be no self without other, no identity of group A without a group B.”

― Alan Dundes

“Folklore provides a socially sanctioned outlet for the discussion of the forbidden and taboo.”

― Alan Dundes

“My academic identity is that of a folklorist, and for many years I have taught only folklore courses.”

― Alan Dundes

“I have a great advantage over many of my colleagues inasmuch as my students bring with them to class their own personal knowledge of national, regional, religious, ethnic, occupational, and family folklore traditions.”

― Alan Dundes

“In my introductory course, Anthropology 160, the Forms of Folklore, I try to show the students what the major and minor genres of folklore are, and how they can be analyzed.”

― Alan Dundes

“Their term project consists of a fieldwork collection of folklore that they create by interviewing family members, friends, or anyone they can manage to persuade to serve as an informant.”

― Alan Dundes

“The class has become over the years fairly large, running to three hundred or more, but I always insist upon reading all the student folklore collections myself. Although this is a tall order, I look forward to it because I learn so much from it.”

― Alan Dundes

“There is more to folklore research than fieldwork. This is why in all of my other upper-division courses I require a term paper involving original research.”

― Alan Dundes

“I mentioned that one of the tripartite formulas in American worldview involves time: past, present, and future.”

― Alan Dundes

“Polls are frequently taken to try to tease out or determine likely directions and trends, but once taken, they belong to the past, requiring that new polls be taken.”

― Alan Dundes

“In the light of our culture, these are not unreasonable questions and tactics, but if once again, we try to see the lens through which we look, we can see that there is far too great an emphasis placed on the future.”

― Alan Dundes

“Americans often have trouble enjoying the present moment.”

― Alan Dundes

“Americans do believe in progress and there is almost certainly a kernel of truth in the joke.”

― Alan Dundes

“Cities all over the world are getting bigger as more and more people move from rural to urban sites, but that has created enormous problems with respect to environmental pollution and the general quality of life.”

― Alan Dundes

“I find all folklore challenging, and I never cease to be grateful that I became a professional folklorist.”

― Alan Dundes

“As a folklorist, I have come to believe that no piece of folklore continues to be transmitted unless it means something – even if neither the speaker nor the audience can articulate what that meaning might be.”

― Alan Dundes

“It is important to recognize that folklore is not simply a way of obtaining available date about identity for social scientists; it is actually one of the principal means by which an individual and a group discovers or establishes his or its identity.”

― Alan Dundes

“My own bias in folkloristics is decidedly psychoanalytic. I believe that the vast majority of folklore concerns fantasy, and because of that, I am persuaded that techniques of analyzing fantasy are relevant to folklore data.”

― Alan Dundes
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