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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Social functions of fairy tales

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.06.00  Humanities  Culturology   

Code Science Field
H315  Humanities  Aesthetics 

Code Science Field
6.04  Humanities  Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music) 
Keywords
folk tales, tales, folk culture, nation building, socialist realism
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  53252  Arnela Abdić    Technical associate  2020 - 2022 
2.  51354  PhD Paul David Crowther  Philosophy  Researcher  2019 - 2022  31 
3.  10728  PhD Darko Darovec  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2022  519 
4.  54390  PhD Marjan Horvat  Sociology  Researcher  2022  368 
5.  51825  PhD Claudio Povolo  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2022  59 
6.  14711  PhD Cirila Toplak  Political science  Researcher  2019 - 2022  308 
7.  29337  PhD Polona Tratnik  Philosophy  Head  2019 - 2022  377 
8.  06910  PhD Verena Vidrih Perko  Archaeology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  468 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0433  ALMA MATER EUROPAEA - FAKULTETA ZA HUMANISTIČNI ŠTUDIJ, INSTITUTUM STUDIORUM HUMANITATIS, LJUBLJANA (Slovene)  Ljubljana  5606438000  3,154 
2.  3344  Institute IRRIS for Research, Development and Strategies of Society, Culture and Environment  Marezige  6292577  1,594 
Abstract
The research is concerned with the social roles of folk tales and their role for the organization of society. A particular case focus of this research is the region of Slovenia, which has a history of belonging to different political unions and ambitions for building a nation. The aim of this research is to establish, how the political, economic and religious relations between folks in this region appear in the folk tales and how they reflect particular historical circumstances of that age. The strivings of the prevailing class of folk to get some level of political and economic autonomy, to establish a non-imposed social order, and to get recognized or established as a nation will be examined. The objective of the research is to examine the function of folk tales for the nation building processes and for the establishment of political, but also social order. On the one hand, the political function of the hero tales will be examined as regards their function to build national identity, as a boundary-defining mechanism, and as regards the building of a defensive stance. On the other hand, the research will focus on the “classical” Pan-European fairy tales that have circulated in Europe for ages and that were produced in unique variants within the context of socialism, when they, as rather “non-heroic” tales, represent ordinary people at their aspiration for righteous society. The aim is to study the fairy tales as cultural formations with certain forms of inclusion and exclusion. The research will originally contribute a recognition of folk tales as matrixes of which each singular edition adjusts to the given ideological or socio-political circumstances. The research will enlighten, how the regimes of production condition the inscribed ideological inclinations and erasures, as well as these depend on the anticipated public. In that respect the folk tales will be examined as popular genre that functions similar to culture industry. The research is grounded in culturology and is strongly interdisciplinary anchored. It fits in the framework of the ARRS research programme Research of Cultural Formations, of which the principal investigator is this project leader, Polona Tratnik (under her leadership the programme has been just prolonged until 2024, on the basis of successful application at the ARRS call). The project innovatively grasps the subject of folk tales, traditionally studied by folklorists and literary theory, with tools of critical theory of society, philosophy of culture, semiology, structuralism and communicology, paying strong attention to the social context of production and reception, the cultural and political history. The experienced researchers in these disciplines with many successfully completed national and international projects, such as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Fulbright fellowships, internationally recognized, with strong record of scientific publications (Tratnik – 8 monographs, Crowther – 17 monographs, Darovec – 15 monographs), guarantee feasibility. It is the first in-depth research on the political functions of folk tales, particularly on their function for the nation building processes, and the first research on the social functions of the variants of the classical fairy tales in the genre of socialist realism. As a result, with shading light to these aspects, the project will show that the folk tales are relevant means for studying the political context, in which they are appearing. The research will assure deliverables for established academic public and students, as well as for the general public that keeps interest in tales of different sorts: two monographs with acknowledged publishers, one single-authored and one with collected studies, two international conferences, five peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals and a PhD course. The research has important political significance, since it is in line with the EU policies and strategies, preserving Cultural heritage and European ident
Significance for science
The research will assure several original perspectives on the subject of folk tales with approaching them in the way to pay attention to the context of their production and reception, to the particular sociopolitical circumstances, and with studying them interdisciplinary. The project contributes new approach to studying fairy tales, which illuminates the socio-political context, but also really consolidates the awareness, that there is no initial or the original version of the fairy tale, which problematizes the folklorist approach (particularly the work of classification according to the motive). At the same time the project will make aware, that each edition is unique and it is enriching to search for versions that appeared in places, which have not been in the center of world’s attention. This contributes a critique of still very present cultural hegemony and invites for its re-consideration. It also enlightens unique variants of known tales and thus the folk culture of regions not known to the global public. It further brings new conceptions of authorship and folk heritage and thus stimulates re-thinking of the issues of originality and tradition. Because of the recognition of the tales as matrixes, the project will show, how the distribution of the sensible delimits forms of inclusion and exclusion in a community. Tales that circulate in communities, speak about the people, but they also speak to the people. The research will discuss folk tales as educational tool, and more importantly, it will present them as a political tool. Further research will be possible based on the findings of this research, with considering folk tales as means for comprehending the political context, in which they appear. Within the context of the actual research on nation building processes, this project will be a pioneering research with enlightening the political relevance of folk tales. This will enable further research of the political functions of folk tales in different ages and different geopolitical contexts. The project will present folk tales as a sort of popular medium, which has enjoyed more or less and different sort of popularity for different audiences. The project will show that folk tales used to be a very relevant medium for the adult majority of population and have fulfilled those social functions that are today fulfilled with popular movies and TV-novellas. This recognition links the actual popular electronic media with the ancient modes of communicating tales and instructive messages. This assures grounds for further research of the connections between folk tales and tales communicated in newer media. Particularly scientifically valuable is that the project illuminates the specific cultural history of Slovenia and the cultural products that the younger generations are less and less familiar with and that is even less known internationally. The project contributes to the exploration of the Slovenian intangible cultural heritage and invites to do further research on it.
Significance for the country
The research will assure several original perspectives on the subject of folk tales with approaching them in the way to pay attention to the context of their production and reception, to the particular sociopolitical circumstances, and with studying them interdisciplinary. The project contributes new approach to studying fairy tales, which illuminates the socio-political context, but also really consolidates the awareness, that there is no initial or the original version of the fairy tale, which problematizes the folklorist approach (particularly the work of classification according to the motive). At the same time the project will make aware, that each edition is unique and it is enriching to search for versions that appeared in places, which have not been in the center of world’s attention. This contributes a critique of still very present cultural hegemony and invites for its re-consideration. It also enlightens unique variants of known tales and thus the folk culture of regions not known to the global public. It further brings new conceptions of authorship and folk heritage and thus stimulates re-thinking of the issues of originality and tradition. Because of the recognition of the tales as matrixes, the project will show, how the distribution of the sensible delimits forms of inclusion and exclusion in a community. Tales that circulate in communities, speak about the people, but they also speak to the people. The research will discuss folk tales as educational tool, and more importantly, it will present them as a political tool. Further research will be possible based on the findings of this research, with considering folk tales as means for comprehending the political context, in which they appear. Within the context of the actual research on nation building processes, this project will be a pioneering research with enlightening the political relevance of folk tales. This will enable further research of the political functions of folk tales in different ages and different geopolitical contexts. The project will present folk tales as a sort of popular medium, which has enjoyed more or less and different sort of popularity for different audiences. The project will show that folk tales used to be a very relevant medium for the adult majority of population and have fulfilled those social functions that are today fulfilled with popular movies and TV-novellas. This recognition links the actual popular electronic media with the ancient modes of communicating tales and instructive messages. This assures grounds for further research of the connections between folk tales and tales communicated in newer media. Particularly scientifically valuable is that the project illuminates the specific cultural history of Slovenia and the cultural products that the younger generations are less and less familiar with and that is even less known internationally. The project contributes to the exploration of the Slovenian intangible cultural heritage and invites to do further research on it.
Most important scientific results Interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report
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