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Halloween and Cultural Diffusion

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Presentation on theme: "Halloween and Cultural Diffusion"— Presentation transcript:


2 Halloween and Cultural Diffusion

3 The Basic Idea of Halloween
One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living.

4 Halloween as a Religious Practice
The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year.

5 Stimulus Diffusion and Religion
The Romans adopted the Celtic practices. In the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of some of the other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits and trees. Pomona's symbol is the apple, which might explain the origin of bobbing for apples. The idea of celebrating Halloween survived but the holiday had to change as it spread and as the Christians came and converted people. Is this stimulus diffusion? How is this holiday a folk culture item at this time?

6 Relocation and then Expansion Diffusion and Halloween
The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine. Like most folk customs it expanded through relocation diffusion. Ireland is the hearth area

7 Halloween as Folk Culture
The Jack-o-lantern custom probably comes from Irish folklore: A man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree.

8 Halloween as Folk Culture
After Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed- out turnip to keep it glowing longer. How do the turnip and the character of Satan make this tale a folk culture tale?




12 Folk versus Popular Culture
Folk- traditionally practiced by small, homogeneous groups living in isolated areas (usually rural)‏ Popular- found in large, heterogeneous societies that share certain habits despite differences in other areas. Folk territory is smaller in scale

13 Folk, Popular and Halloween CTD
Folk- tend to have anonymous hearths and come from areas that are isolated and can often have separate areas that independently originate an idea Popular- tends to come from MDC's + goes along extra leisure time, disposable income + industrialization. Popular culture items tend to stay away from anything that would identify them with one group How will the continuing globalization of the world affect folk and popular cultures?

14 Folk, Popular and Halloween CTD
Hierarchical Diffusion usually plays a role in the diffusion of a trait that goes from folk to a popular culture characteristic. Rap music is an example of hierarchical diffusion of a folk culture item that became a popular culture item. Folk cultures usually spread through relocation diffusion (migration). Example: The Amish. How can geography explain whether or not a country has popular culture or folk cultures?

15 Trick or Treat The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth- century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.

16 Trick or Treat Business
Candy makes the holiday more marketable, and returns a higher profit while secularizing the holiday so it can reach a wider base. All of these items are complaints about globalization and its effects on folk culture. In Sweden, even as Halloween's popularity has increased, so have views of the holiday as an "unnecessary, bad American custom," said Bodil Nildin-Wall, an expert at the Language and Folklore Institute in Uppsala.

17 Halloween and Clash of Cultures
Halloween "undermines our cultural identity," complained the Rev. Giordano Frosini, a Roman Catholic theologian who serves as vicar-general in the Diocese of Pistoia near Florence, Italy. Frosini denounced the holiday as a "manifestation of neo-paganism" and an expression of American cultural supremacy. "Pumpkins show their emptiness," he said. What does the second statement mean?

18 Halloween and Clash of Cultures
Halloween went from being folk culture to popular. A new popular Halloween culture from America threatens the folk culture that Europeans have for that time of year. Critics see it as the epitome of crass, U.S.- style commercialism. Clerics and conservatives contend it clashes with the spirit of traditional Nov. 1 All Saints' Day remembrances. What is it about the American popular style that would annoy them?

19 Halloween and MNC's Many worry that globalization and big business will drive out local customs To be sure, Halloween is big business in Europe. Germans alone spend nearly $170 million, on Halloween costumes, sweets, decorations and parties. The holiday has become increasingly popular in Romania, home to the Dracula myth, where discotheques throw parties with bat and vampire themes. How do big businesses quite often undermine folk values as in the case of Halloween?

20 Summary of Folk Culture
Folk cultures tend to be: -Homogeneous in ethnic and cultural background and leery of outsiders -Have food and clothing that is locally made -Have strong family values that promote having children and go against alternate lifestyles -Tend to be male dominated and women tend to have lower education levels and not to have a choice of not having children or being independent and single. There are low divorce rates in such a country -The customs of the group tend to be united by religion. -Conflict can often occur with those of outside cultures or those of differing folk cultures popular cultures.

21 Folk Diffusion Methods and the Reasons for Why it Uses that Method
Folk culture countries lack industry, transportation, and communication networks. Folk countries also have people that lack leisure time and extra cash for leisure activities Folk cultures also tend to be homogeneous. This tends to limit their ability to think of things that go outside of that culture or worse yet these cultures will view modernization as a threat to their way of life. Some do not like the idea of becoming a stage 4 country. Why? Given all of these factors, why is relocation the main method for diffusion of folk cultures?

22 Summary of Popular Culture
Popular cultures tend to: -Be more about individuality and individual rights -People have more money and free time and have the industries that can exploit this. -Popular culture items are created based off of marketing strategies not religious or ethnic connections. An example of this can be found in the differences between a McDonald's restaurant and an Italian restaurant. -Have less family values as they allow for DINKS, higher divorce rates, LATs, and other alternative lifestyles

23 Popular Culture Diffusion
Popular culture countries have all of the things that folk countries lack: industry, communication networks, people with leisure time (middle class) and excellent transportation networks. Popular culture items are usually based off of the business market. They try to appeal to all people no matter what. Popular culture items tend to homogenize the cultural and physical landscape. How does this modernization threaten folk societies? Or does it?

24 Globalization and Growth
World economy is taking off. Of the world's six billion people, five billion have seen a change in their lives (in terms of economic growth) over the last twenty years. More and more countries are becoming developed or are on their way and more and more people are travelling. What changes will happen culturally because of this? How will this affect folk customs and holidays? How will societies react to these changes?

25 Mr. Lewis wonders how this relates to the issue of migration.
Think of what the migrants have come from to what they are going to. How do chain migration and ethnic hoods relate to the nature of folk versus popular culture?


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