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MFC-001: Folklore and Culture: Conceptual Perspectives

MFC-001: Folklore and Culture: Conceptual Perspectives

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MFC-001 / TMA-01 / 2022-23

Course Code: MFC-001

Assignment Name: Folklore and Culture: Conceptual Perspectives

Year: 2022 - 2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Attempt any five questions. All questions carry equal marks. (20x5= 100 marks)


Q 1. Discuss the roles of Grimms Brothers in the introduction of folklore in research and pedagogy.

Ans) The contributions that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, often known as the Brothers Grimm, made to the collection, preservation, and transmission of European folklore are well-known and generally acknowledged in today's society. Their work, which began in the early 19th century, has had a significant impact on the study of fairy tales and folklore, as well as a lasting impact on the incorporation of folklore into research and pedagogy. Additionally, their work has had an important impact on the introduction of folklore into research and pedagogy. Their work was also instrumental in the incorporation of folklore into research and educational practises, which was a major contribution on their part.


One of the most significant contributions made by the Grimm Brothers was the compilation of an extensive collection of fairy tales. In 1812 and 1815, the brothers published these tales under the title "Kinder- und Hausmarchen," which translates to "Children's and Household Tales," in two separate volumes. Nearly two hundred unique stories, the majority of which had never been committed to written form before, were included in the book. The Brothers Grimm collected these tales after engaging in considerable travel throughout Germany and engaging in dialogue with residents hailing from a diverse range of backgrounds and socioeconomic classes. They made notes on the stories that they overheard, worked to improve them, and then finally published them in a way that was understandable to a wider audience of readers.


It was essential because the Grimms' collection of fairy tales introduced a new kind of literature that researchers and educators of the time had, for the most part, ignored. One of the many reasons why the collection played such a significant role was because of this. The tales were not only entertaining, but they also had a significant cultural and historical bearing on the world in which they were told. They were thought to be a representation of the collected knowledge and creative capacity of the individuals who narrated the stories. Specifically, they were a manifestation of the creative potential of the people who told the stories. The Grimms' publication of these tales helped to preserve a component of Europe's cultural heritage and made it available to a more widespread audience. They also contributed to the upkeep of the history.


The Brothers Grimm are known for a number of things, including the collection of fairy tales that they compiled, as well as their contributions to the development of the academic field of folklore during their time period. They were the first people to recognise the significance of a society's folklore in gaining an understanding of its history and culture, and they fought to establish the study of folklore as a valid topic of academic inquiry. In addition, they were the first people to recognise the significance of a society's folklore in gaining an understanding of its history and culture. They were successful in achieving this objective as a result of the production of academic works that analysed folklore and presented interpretations of it. Their two-volume set of "Deutsche Sagen" (German Legends) and their "Deutsche Grammatik" are just two examples of the kinds of works that they produced (German Grammar).


The Grimms' contributions to the academic study of folklore were a significant factor in the development of that subject into a legitimate area of research. This paved the path for following researchers to investigate and document folklore in a manner that was more methodical and stringent, and it also prepared the way for future scholars to do the same. In addition to this, the work that they undertook helped to contribute to the formation of a standard for the collection and preservation of folklore, which continues to have an impact on the field even today. In conclusion, the Grimms played an important role in the propagation of folklore through the vehicle of education. They knew that vital cultural and moral lessons could be taught to children through the use of folklore, which they believed had educational value and which they believed had the potential to do so. They did this as a direct response to the backlash they received and as a direct result of the backlash they received, they published a collection of their fairy tales in a format that was designed with children in mind. This edition was illustrated, and it had moral lessons that were intended to teach youngsters about the necessity of being honest, working hard, and other qualities that are important in life.


The efforts that the Grimms put forth to include folklore into education were a significant factor that contributed to the development in popularity of folklore among educators. Since then, it has evolved into an important aspect of children's literature. Their work also helped to the formation of a tradition of using folktales to teach moral and cultural values. This tradition has had a long-lasting impact on both the field of education and the field of writing for children because of the influence it has had on both of these fields.


In conclusion, we are able to state that the Grimm Brothers had a significant role in the incorporation of folklore into both the academic study of it and the teaching of it in the classroom. Their collection of fairy tales, scholarly work on folklore, and efforts to introduce folklore into pedagogy helped to establish it as a legitimate area of academic inquiry and a valuable tool for teaching moral and cultural values. Additionally, they contributed to the development of the field of folklore as an academic discipline. In addition to this, they were instrumental in the growth of the academic discipline of folklore during its formative years. Their work has left an indelible mark on the academic study of folklore and fairy tales, and the legacy they have left behind continues to encourage and inspire academics and instructors in the current period. Their work has left an indelible mark on the academic study of folklore and fairy tales.

Q 2. What is the structural approach to the study of folklore?

Ans) The middle of the 20th century saw the development of a new way of analysis for the study of folklore known as the structural approach. This method of analysis was mostly utilised in the field of anthropology at the time. The premise that folklore can be disassembled into its component elements serves as the conceptual underpinning for this method. This method places an emphasis on recognising the underlying structures and patterns that are present in traditional forms of knowledge such as folktales, myths, and legends, as well as other types of traditional knowledge. This method also places an emphasis on the recognition of the underlying structures and patterns that are present in traditional forms of knowledge. This method focuses primarily on this area of investigation, with the major goal being to gain an understanding of the myriad of ways in which different cultural ideas and values are portrayed through folklore as a medium for storytelling.


The structural approach to the study of folklore is based on a number of essential assumptions, one of which is the notion that folklore is not merely a random collection of stories but rather a complicated system of symbols and meanings. This is one of the key assumptions. The work of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, who proposed that language is an organised system of signs and symbols that permit communication, serves as the basis for the structuralist approach to folklore. Saussure is known for his argument that language is a system of signs and symbols that permit communication. This approach has been used ever since the field of folklore research was first established. In later years, Saussure's theories were utilised to analyse a variety of cultural forms, including folklore, among others.


It is generally agreed that Claude Levi-Strauss, a French anthropologist, was one of the most influential figures in the development of the structural approach to the study of folklore. Levi-Strauss devised this method. According to Lévi-theory, Strauss's the myths and folktales of many different civilizations shed light on the underlying ways of thinking and believing that are prevalent within those communities. He was under the notion that these patterns may possibly be broken down using the same methods that are utilised by linguists in the process of breaking down the structure of language. He was wrong.


The approach that Lévi-Strauss took was to determine the underlying binary oppositions that are inherent in folktales. This was the method that he utilised. In a vast number of classic tales, for example, there is a dichotomous opposition between life and death, as well as between good and evil. According to Lévi-Strauss, these dichotomies are not just arbitrary or coincidental; rather, they reflect the fundamental values and aspirations that exist inside a society. In his book titled "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," he makes this assertion.


The use of formal analysis in order to discover the fundamental structures that are present in folktales is yet another crucial component of the structural approach. This analysis is done in order to determine the fundamental structures that are present in folktales. In order to achieve this goal, the narrative needs to be broken down into its component pieces, and then the motifs and themes that are prevalent throughout the narrative need to be figured out. By undertaking an examination of the formal structure of folktales, researchers are able to identify the underlying patterns of thought and belief that are present within a society. This can be done by looking at the folktales as a whole. For instance, academics have discovered that the idea of metamorphosis appears quite frequently in the folklore of several Native American civilizations. [Citation needed] [Citation needed] [Citation needed] [Further citation is required] In many Native American stories, the heroes go through some kind of transformation as they move from one stage of life to the next. This transformation can take place on a physical or a spiritual level. Researchers have been able to discover the underlying cultural notions about the nature of transition and change by examining the formal structure of these stories and extracting those perspectives from the text. This has enabled the researchers to determine the cultural significance of the stories.


One of the criticisms that can be levelled at the structural approach is that, at times, it can be overly focused on formal analysis and may not pay enough attention to the cultural context in which the folklore is produced and passed down. Another criticism that can be levelled at the structural approach is that it can be overly focused on informal analysis. The structural approach is susceptible to criticism on multiple fronts, and this is one of those fronts. According to the viewpoints of a number of specialists, it is essential to take into account the social and historical setting in which folktales are told in order to acquire an exhaustive comprehension of the meaning and value of folktales. This is because the social and historical setting in which folktales are told is the context in which they are passed down from generation to generation.


Despite the criticisms that have been levelled against it, the structural approach to the study of folklore has had a significant influence on the discipline of anthropology and has contributed to the formation of our understanding of the cultural relevance of traditional knowledge. This is the case despite the fact that there have been criticisms levelled against it. By focusing their attention on the underlying structures and patterns that emerge organically throughout folklore, researchers have been effective in uncovering the fundamental ideas and values that underpin a variety of cultural traditions. This strategy has also been helpful in shedding light on the numerous ways in which folklore may be used within a society to either enhance or question the pre-existing power structures and social norms. This has been accomplished by bringing to light the various ways in which folklore can be used.


Q 3. Why do you think that classical, folk and popular cultures are closely interrelated?

Ans) Classical, folk, and popular cultures are all closely related because they all come from the shared experiences and traditions of different groups of people. Even though their styles, forms, and audiences may be different, they are all shaped by similar cultural and historical factors, and they all play an important role in shaping the identities and social structures of the communities from which they come.


Classical culture includes the art, literature, and music of the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as the works of later artists and thinkers who were inspired by these traditions. Classical culture has had a big impact on a lot of other ways of expressing culture, like folk and popular culture. For example, many ancient myths and stories have been changed and retold in folk tales and popular media like movies, TV shows, and video games.

Folk culture, on the other hand, is what regular people in a certain community or region do and how they do things. Folk culture is often passed down from one generation to the next, and it shows how a group of people think, feel, and live. Folk culture comes in many different forms, such as music, dance, crafts, and telling stories. Classical culture and other cultural and historical events, like migration, colonisation, and globalisation, have all had an effect on many folk traditions.


Popular culture is a term from the 20th century that refers to mass-produced cultural items that a large number of people enjoy. Popular culture includes things like music, TV, movies, books, and even advertising. People often say that popular culture is shallow or geared toward making money, but it is also a powerful way to express and shape social identities and values. Classical and folk traditions, as well as the technological and social changes of the modern era, have all had an effect on popular culture.


One reason why these three types of culture are closely linked is that they all reflect and shape the social and historical contexts in which they develop. Ancient Greek and Roman societies were made up of a complicated set of social hierarchies and political structures, which gave rise to classical culture. These buildings had an effect on the styles and themes of classical art and literature, as well as on how people viewed and enjoyed them.


Folk culture, on the other hand, grew out of the ordinary lives of people in certain communities. Folk culture is how people interact with each other, with nature, and with their own cultural traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Folk culture is often based on a sense of community and a shared history, which can be seen in the shapes and themes of folk art and literature.


The changes in technology and society in the modern era have had an effect on popular culture, which grew up in the 20th century. Consumer culture and mass media have made it possible for cultural products to be made and used all over the world. Popular culture shows how the values and identities of modern societies are changing, as well as how powerful economic and political forces are shaping and manipulating these values and identities.


Another reason why these three types of culture are closely linked is that they often use the same themes and motifs. For instance, many myths and stories from the past have been changed and retold in folk tales and other popular media. These stories often show feelings and experiences that are common to all people, like love, loss, and the fight for power and meaning.


In the same way, a lot of folk traditions have been changed and used in popular culture. Folk music, for example, has had an effect on many popular types of music, like rock, country, and hip hop. Folk music has a lot of themes and motifs that these genres often use, like celebrating everyday life, expressing social and political values, and creating a sense of community and shared history.


In conclusion, classical, folk, and popular cultures are all closely connected because they all reflect and shape the social and historical contexts in which they arise, share common themes and motifs, and influence each other. They also have a big impact on how people and groups see themselves, as well as on how power structures and social norms are maintained or changed.


Classical culture, for example, has often been seen as belonging to the rich and educated and has been used to support ideas of cultural and social superiority. Folk culture, on the other hand, has been linked to the working class and other groups that have been left out, and it has been used to show resistance and other cultural identities. Popular culture has often been used to promote consumerism and conformity, but it has also been a powerful way for social and political movements like the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, and the LGBTQ+ rights movement to express themselves and shape public opinion.


By studying classical, folk, and popular cultures together, we can learn more about the complicated ways that cultural expression reflects and shapes social and historical contexts, as well as the role that culture plays in shaping individual and group identities and values. We can also learn about how different types of culture affect and are affected by each other, as well as how culture can be used to support or challenge existing social norms and power structures.


In short, the close connections between classical, folk, and popular cultures show how important cultural expression is as a way to shape and reflect social and historical contexts, as well as how important it is to understand the different ways different groups of people express their culture. By looking at these connections, we can learn more about the diversity and richness of human cultures and the complicated ways that culture shapes our identities, values, and beliefs.


Q 4. What is the Diffusionists’ School of Thought? What is Culture and Marxist Thought?

Ans) The Diffusionist school of thought is a theoretical framework that is used in anthropology to analyse the dispersion of cultural traits across a variety of diverse societies. The Diffusionists were the ones who initially established this framework. The idea of cultural features being transmitted from one community to another by direct connection between those groups, which can take the form of trade, migration, or even violence, is the central tenet of the diffusionist school of thought. On the other hand, other schools of thought, such as cultural evolutionism, place a greater emphasis on the evolution of cultures from the inside out through processes such as innovation and adaptation. This is in contrast to the previous statement, which states that the emphasis should be placed on the evolution of cultures from the outside in.


Diffusionists are people who believe that cultural characteristics can quickly and effectively move from one society to another, which can lead to the introduction of novel ideas, practises, and technologies. Diffusionists believe that cultural characteristics can move quickly and effectively from one society to another. For instance, the spread of agriculture to different parts of the world has been connected, in some cases, to the spread of cultural traditions. This is due to the fact that the expansion of agriculture occurred as a result of communities learning about new farming practises from their neighbours and subsequently adopting those practises themselves.

An important figure in the development of the Diffusionist school of thought, which the British anthropologist Grafton Elliot Smith helped to form, Grafton Elliot Smith is widely regarded as a vital figure in this history. Smith argued that cultural characteristics could be traced back to their origins, and that the spread of cultural characteristics could be traced through the spread of particular artefacts, such as pottery, tools, and weapons. He also suggested that the origins of cultural characteristics could be traced back to the origins of particular artefacts. In addition to this, he proposed that the spread of cultural qualities may be considered to be their point of origin.


Another important contributor to the Diffusionist school of thought was the German anthropologist, Leo Frobenius. Frobenius suggested that the mechanism that was responsible for the process of cultural dispersion was the movement of certain cultural groupings, which he referred to as Kulturkreise. Frobenius believed that this movement was the mechanism that was responsible for the process. He was of the idea that different Kulturkreise might be differentiated from one another by analysing the linguistic, aesthetic, and religious qualities of each of the Kulturkreises individually.


Marxist Philosophy and Cultural Aspects

Marxism is a school of thought that proposes a theoretical framework that places a strong emphasis on the role that economic and social class play in the formation of culture and society. Marxist theorists contend that culture is not merely a reflection of the underlying social structures, but rather a product of the particular economic and political conditions in which it is produced and consumed. They say this to refute the idea that culture is simply a reflection of these underlying social structures.


Theorists that subscribe to the Marxist school of thought contend that culture serves to uphold pre-existing power structures and social conventions, as well as to normalise the inequality and injustice that are already present in a society. They are of the opinion that the interests of those who control the means of production and distribution shape cultural forms such as art, literature, and the media.


Theorists who adhere to Marxism contend, among other things, that cultural forms can be utilised to contest and oppose established power systems. They hold the belief that art and literature have the potential to not only bring about an increased consciousness and awareness of social and political issues, but also to motivate collective action and social change.


Karl Marx, a German philosopher and economist, is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the evolution of Marxist thought. Marx claimed that culture was an essential component of society's superstructure, which was erected on top of the economic foundation. He felt that the ruling class exploited culture to retain their power and control over the working class, and that cultural forms could be used to confront and fight this domination. He also believed that culture could be used to create new meanings.


Antonio Gramsci, an Italian philosopher and Marxist, was another major role in the development of Marxist ideology. Gramsci placed a strong emphasis on the significance of cultural hegemony, which may be defined as the preponderance of one particular viewpoint or ideology within a society. He maintained that cultural hegemony might be challenged and subverted through the formation of counter-hegemonic cultural forms such as alternative media, art, and literature. Examples of these cultural forms include alternative media, art, and literature.


To summarise, the school of thought associated with diffusionists places an emphasis on the significance of cultural diffusion in the process of shaping the development of various societies and cultures, whereas the school of thought associated with Marxists places an emphasis on the significance of economic and social class in the process of shaping cultural forms and practises. Both of these conceptual frameworks have made significant contributions to the study of anthropology and have assisted in the formation of our comprehension of the intricate connections that exist between culture, society, and power.


Q 6. Do you agree that multilingualism leads to the death of one’s own language? Justify your hypothesis.

Ans) The idea that speaking more than one language will eventually lead to the extinction of one's native tongue is not one with which I concur. In point of fact, there are many instances in which being multilingual can have the opposite impact, namely that it can help to conserve and promote the use of one's native language. The capacity to speak or utilise more than one language is known as multilingualism, and it offers a wide range of advantages. To begin, it enables individuals to communicate with a greater variety of people, both within and outside of their own community. This is one of the many benefits of the internet. Additionally, it can boost one's cognitive abilities, increase one's employability, and widen one's horizons culturally and socially.


One of the issues that is frequently brought up in discussions over multilingualism is the possibility that it would result in the loss of one's native language. This line of reasoning is predicated on the assumption that when a person becomes fluent in a language that is not their native tongue, they are more likely to stop using their native tongue and may even lose the capacity to speak it altogether. While it is true that some people may quit using their own language in favour of a more dominant or prominent language, this is not a necessary or unavoidable consequence of multilingualism and is not something that will happen to everyone who is multilingual. In point of fact, there are numerous communities that serve as instances of how multilingualism has assisted in the promotion and preservation of the usage of minority or endangered languages.


Developing chances for communication and cooperation amongst speakers of different languages is one of the ways in which multilingualism can help to preserve linguistic diversity. When people are able to communicate with others who speak a different language, they are able to share ideas, traditions, and cultural practises with one another. Additionally, they are able to collaborate in order to promote the utilisation of various languages and ensure their continued preservation.


Those who are bilingual, or multilingual are more likely to have a feeling of pride and ownership in their original tongue, which is another manner in which being multilingual can contribute to the preservation of languages. When a person is able to speak more than one language, they have the opportunity to establish a sense of linguistic and cultural identity that is based not just in their own language, but also in their history. This is made possible because of their ability to communicate in more than one language. This can help to strengthen the relationships that individuals already have with the communities in which they live, and it can also encourage the use of and help preserve languages that are only spoken by a small percentage of the population or that are in danger of being lost.


Additionally, having the ability to speak more than one language has the potential to assist in the revitalization and resuscitation of languages that are in jeopardy of being extinguished. When people learn or use a language that is in danger of becoming extinct, they have the opportunity to contribute to the preservation of that language by teaching it to subsequent generations, producing new works of literature and cultural goods in the language, and communicating in that language on a day-to-day basis. In addition, they have the ability to teach it to subsequent generations by teaching it to subsequent generations.


The process of multilingualism, which can occasionally even lead to the emergence of new creole or hybrid languages, can be thought of as a form of linguistic and cultural innovation. In certain contexts, this may be construed as a beneficial consequence or side effect. It is feasible for these new languages to draw on characteristics of a number of different languages, which would result in the production of a one-of-a-kind and vivid form of cultural expression that represents the diversity and depth of the communities from which these languages originate.


To summarise, while there are unquestionably dangers connected with multilingualism, such as the possibility that individuals will stop using their native language in favour of a language that is more widely spoken or esteemed, there are also a great number of advantages and opportunities connected with multilingualism, which are well worth exploring. These include the strengthening of cognitive skills, the ability to converse with a larger variety of people, and the promotion and preservation of minority or endangered languages. In the end, whether or not multilingualism results in the loss of one's native language is going to be determined by a wide variety of factors. These factors include the social, political, and economic contexts in which multilingualism occurs, in addition to the attitudes and values of the individuals who are involved in the practise of multilingualism.

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