Abstract and Keywords
The media of print, radio, film, television, and especially the Internet are subjects as well as sources of folklore and folklife. Following the rise of the Internet in the late twentieth century, and its proliferation in the early twenty-first century, bringing with it Web 2.0 and the performative folk web, folklorists increasingly turned to the Internet to research folk processes and compare them to the kinds of transmission in face-to-face communities. Digital folklore—with “memes” being most recognizable—flourishes online, and the Internet creates new traditional forms and practices. The Internet challenges long-standing assumptions, definitions, methods, and theories in what has been called the predigital or analog era. Folklore and folklife research of media and digital technology contributes to the broader field of communication and media studies by emphasizing the continued importance of informal culture and group aesthetics in technologically mediated environments.
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