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Urban Legends Urban Legends and their Progression Through Time and Technology.

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Presentation on theme: "Urban Legends Urban Legends and their Progression Through Time and Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Urban Legends Urban Legends and their Progression Through Time and Technology

2 A Brief History Urban Legends A Brief History Urban legends are commonly referred to as “contemporary legends,” usually set against the backdrop of modern times. Shopping malls Gas stations College dormitories

3 What is an Urban Legend? What Constitutes an Urban Legend? Popular stories, sometimes containing moralistic and cautionary themes Transmitted through oral or written communication Told as if true…alleged to be heard through 2 nd or 3 rd hand sources.  i. e. “I swear! It happened to my plumber’s, niece’s, boyfriend!”

4 Those who Refuse to believe….  Common misconception that all urban legends are false.  But….although most are fictitious, there are those that are based on true events.  Blurring of facts  Constant adaptations The Unbelievers

5 The Fools Those who Do believe…. Why? Implicit trust for the story-teller Usually friend of family member Urban legends as reflections of our societal values, fears, concerns Hence, easy for us to identify with Aids in the 90’s

6 University Urban Legends A perennially successful urban legend community is the university campus. Colleges and universities are jam packed with young people that are eager to spread a good story on to their friends. Colleges and universities are jam packed with young people that are eager to spread a good story on to their friends. Universities hold a certain nostalgic quality. Universities hold a certain nostalgic quality.

7 University Urban Legends Campus legends generally pertain to specific aspects of college life that are present at most colleges and universities. Some of the most recurring themes have to do with:

8 Common Campus Legends Dorm life Scare at PAR Scare at PAR Greek life Legend of the cadaver arm Legend of the cadaver arm Lab myth buildings Haunted buildings Legend of the haunted English Building here on campus Legend of the haunted English Building here on campus Urban Legends are an integrated part of university life.

9 Survey of LIS212A Students The results of the survey you took and stories behind them Out of the Fifteen people surveyed………..

10 "The 5 minute rule“ % If your Professor does not show up after 15 minutes of the bell ringing, class is cancelled.

11 "The Hook“ % A Couple goes for a make out session and overhears the news bulletin for the escaped rapist with a hook for an arm. The girl gets scared so the couple decides to leave. Once they get home they see that there is a hook stuck to their trunk.

12 "Alligators in the sewers“ % In every major city there are reports of alligators seen in the sewer system. "Gerbilling“ % The gay man that supposedly got a gerbil stuck inside of him while partaking in some kinky sex act.

13 "The Spider Bite“ % The woman had an unidentifiable bump on her face and the doctors told her to disregard it. Then one day it broke open and dozens of little spiders crawled out.

14 Mrs. Fields Cookie fiasco % A woman mailed in a request for the recipe for the cookies. She was given the secret recipe along with a bill of $200,000. She got so mad that she ed the recipe to all of her family and friends for free

15 "Death of a roommate“ % If your roommate dies, you get straight A's.

16 Pop Culture Death of A Roommate Urban Legends in film and literature “Dead Man on Campus” “Dead Man on Campus” “Urban Legends” “Urban Legends”

17 Top Ten Urban Legends throughout the Country 10.Double whammy 9.The choking dog 8.The char-boiled scuba diver 7.Kidney thieves 6.The Mexican pet

18 Top Five Urban Legends throughout the Country 5.Fatal hairdo 4.Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light? 3.The exploding toilet 2.Automatic 4.0 GPA if your roommate committed suicide. 1.Alligator in the sewer.

19 The effects Computers have on Urban Legends Increasing ease of spreading urban legends Computer-related Urban Legends

20 McKinley Medical Center Warning Purported warning about defective condoms Reasons why some believed it: Claimed to have been sent from the office of student affairs Claimed to have been sent from the office of student affairs Composed in the same prose as the true mass mailings Composed in the same prose as the true mass mailings Preyed upon a common fear Preyed upon a common fear

21 Sources Used

22 More Sources Dorson, Richard M. Handbook of American Folklore. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1983. Bettelheim, Bruno The uses of enchantment : the meaning and importance of fairy tales / Bruno Bettelheim. New York : Knopf : distributed by Random House, Genge, Ngaire. Urban legends : the as-complete-as-one- could-be guide to modern myths / N.E. Genge. New York : Three Rivers Press, c2000. Clough, Ben C. The American imagination at work: tall tales and folk tales. New York, A. A. Knopf, 1947

23 More Sources Whatley, Mariamne H. Did you hear about the girl who-- ? : contemporary legends, folklore, and human sexuality / Mariamne H. Whatley and Elissa R. Henken. New York : New York University Press, c2000. Brunvand, Jan Harold. Too Good to Be True. New York, W.W. Norton and Company, 1999


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