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 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The folklore of family and friends is a primary social frame of traditional knowledge, promoting distinctive values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Their associated narratives share certain characteristics. They have long been mined by folklorists as popular forms of personal experience narrative, and their transmission is somewhat gender dependent. Unlike friendship narrative, however, family narrative is widely studied in its own right. This chapter argues for a deeper study of friendship narrative, given (1) its role as a performative utterance, reflecting agency that helps form and maintain the group; (2) its horizontal, egalitarian mode of transmission; (3) the effect of the relative ephemerality of friendships; and (4) the role of gossip. The tension between tradition and innovation in American society and the growing importance of friendship groups in the culture, particularly through social media, make friendship narrative an increasingly compelling area of folklore scholarship and a potential means for countering intergroup hostilities.

Keywords: family, folklore, friendship, gender, gossip, memorate, narrative, social media, storytelling

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.