By Sarah Joanne Davies
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Extra info for An investigation into attitudes towards illegitimate birth as evidenced in the folklore of South West England
This work was seen as representing on the one hand the last substantial link with the old paradigm in folksong scholarship, associated in England with the likes of Sharp, Broadwood, Baring-Gould, and Kidson, and on the other hand a forging of the first links towards a contextualist approach, specifically in his case via the discipline of history. (Pickering, "Recent Folk" 41) This shift has been one of the most distinctive movements in the recent study of folksong in Britain. Pickering notes that the new emphasis followed initially from A.
Peer), nevertheless such work is rare and constitutes a very recent development. This lack of comparative work is particularly noticeable in relation to folksong studies, which have remained insular. Stewart, who draws upon an existing work on the didactic function of folktales in order to conduct a similar analysis in terms of song, is typical of other scholars in that links between these two genres remain undeveloped (Stewart 66). The following literature review naturally tends to reflect the divisions which the scholars themselves have imposed on their material and, for the sake of clarity, is separated into two sections: Folksong Scholarship and Scholarship in Prose Narrative Genres.
He uses the terms "masculine" and "feminine" to denote the two sides of the overriding binary opposition which he sees as characterising such songs. He tends to assume the aptness of these labels on grounds of the similarity between the inverse relationship of pairs of qualities (such as activity versus passivity) encompassed by this overriding opposition, and character traits "which map onto conventional perceptions of male and female in the traditional world view" (72). His use of the "masculine"/"feminine" labels, therefore, seems to be motivated, in part, by a wish to exploit an established system of thought, in order to clarify his own argument.