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Contemporary Legend

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By: Ian Brodie | Edited by: Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont, Alexandru Cernat, Joseph W. Sakshaug & Richard A. Williams Published: 2020 | DOI: |
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The term contemporary legend denotes the communication of an extraordinary event, in active circulation within a group, expressed through narrative, through narrative fragment, through ostensive practice, or through allusion. It is contemporary to the time in which it is active, not simply to the present day of the folklorist. Moreover, at the time of its communication, it is considered credible inasmuch as it resonates within the already established worldview of the group in which it arises. Contemporary legend is the academic term of preference for what is often called an urban legend or urban myth. This entry examines the contemporary legend research, the performance of contemporary legends, and methods for researching contemporary legends.

Background

When folklorists such as Jan Harold Brunvand first recognized the contemporary legend in ...

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