Abstract and Keywords
People’s interaction with folklore is integral to the construction of, performance of, and resistance to multiple conceptualizations of gender in the United States. Folklore contributes to conservative processes of creating and sustaining inequitable social hierarchies in which gender is intertwined with other axes of identity, such as race, ethnicity, class, ability, and sexuality. And people of all genders use folklore to resist inequitable gender systems and to create alternate spaces and ways of being. Folklorists invested in gender issues within academic and public spheres recognize the importance and creativity of all people, including those who are subjugated and undervalued in different social environments, which has been significant for highlighting the creativity and cultural contributions of women and others in marginalized positions. They also interrogate the processes through which gender systems are constructed and perpetuated as well as the potential for folkloric forms to be used in effecting positive social change.
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