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Family folklore is the branch of folkloristics concerned with the study and use of folklore and traditional culture transmitted within a family group. This includes items of material culture, crafts produced by family members or memorabilia saved as reminders or remainders of significant family events. It also includes family photos and photo albums in paper and electronic format, along with bundles of other pages held for posterity: certificates, letters, journals, notes and shopping lists. Family stories and sayings, originally recounting actual events, are told and retold until the historical facts give way to a distilled expression of common identity. Family customs are performed, modified, forgotten, created or resurrected with alarming frequency; each time with the goal of defining a

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  • Family folklore
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  • Family folklore is the branch of folkloristics concerned with the study and use of folklore and traditional culture transmitted within a family group. This includes items of material culture, crafts produced by family members or memorabilia saved as reminders or remainders of significant family events. It also includes family photos and photo albums in paper and electronic format, along with bundles of other pages held for posterity: certificates, letters, journals, notes and shopping lists. Family stories and sayings, originally recounting actual events, are told and retold until the historical facts give way to a distilled expression of common identity. Family customs are performed, modified, forgotten, created or resurrected with alarming frequency; each time with the goal of defining a
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  • Family folklore is the branch of folkloristics concerned with the study and use of folklore and traditional culture transmitted within a family group. This includes items of material culture, crafts produced by family members or memorabilia saved as reminders or remainders of significant family events. It also includes family photos and photo albums in paper and electronic format, along with bundles of other pages held for posterity: certificates, letters, journals, notes and shopping lists. Family stories and sayings, originally recounting actual events, are told and retold until the historical facts give way to a distilled expression of common identity. Family customs are performed, modified, forgotten, created or resurrected with alarming frequency; each time with the goal of defining and solidifying the perception of this family as unique, distinct and different from other families. Family folklore has long been included in the documentation of the folklore of regional, ethnic, religious or occupational groups. It is only since the 1970s that this lore has also been investigated as a defining element of the family group itself. Heralded by a call from Mody Boatright to document the "family saga" in 1958, folklorists responded with published accounts of stories and traditions passed down in their own families. L. Karen Baldwin’s unpublished dissertation (1975) laid further theoretical groundwork for family folklore "… not only is the family a folk group, it is the first folk group anyone belongs to." The field has since blossomed, broadening to include an ever expanding understanding of family. The conventional extended family, consisting of a heterosexual married couple with children and grandparents now incorporates gay partners, unmarried committed relationships and children adopted or born through non-traditional methods and procedures. The family traditions themselves are transformed to meet the needs and expectations of these new members and new relationships. The study of family folklore is distinct from family genealogy or family history. Instead of focusing on historical dates, locations and verifiable events, its unique stories, customs and handicrafts identify the family as a distinct social group. At the same time, the family lore passed along has been molded and transformed to relay a sense of family identity and set of values both within and without the family group. The family lore defines the family story. For an individual family, folklore is its creative expression of a common past. As raw experiences are transformed into family stories, expression, and photos, they are codified in forms which can easily be recalled, retold, and enjoyed. Their drama and beauty are heightened, and the family’s past becomes accessible as it is reshaped according to its needs and desires. … Its stories, photographs, and traditions are personalized and often creative distillations of experience, worked and reworked over time.
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