Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Legends, anecdotes, and personal narratives express important dimensions of human experience and values. At times of difficulty, uncertainty, and threat, these narratives help people express worries and seek answers to disturbing questions. Related to rituals, games, and pranks, legends frequently appear on the Internet. The concept of ostension—enactment of legends—sheds light on legends’ relationship to ritual, especially in the context of the legend quest. Legends about gender, empowerment of women, suspicion of corporations’ nefarious activities, and natural and political disaster reflect society’s contemporary concerns. Folklorists benefit from further study of diverse ethnic groups’ legends and personal experience stories in American culture. With new forms of ostension emerging through use of the Internet and other technology, it is important to monitor and analyze expressive behavior online.

Keywords: anecdote, adolescence, fabulate, fake news, folklore, Internet, legend, ostension, personal narrative, pranks

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.