Eva V. Chen

Simplify Complexity? Culture meets Didactics – Reflections on the Role of Volkskunde in Cultural Mediation

Kultur trifft Didaktik – einige Überlegungen zur Rolle der Volkskunde in der Kulturvermittlung

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART101019

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The present article deals with the transfer of research results from Folklore Studies (‘Volkskunde’) into society, or more precisely: the role of Folklore Studies in various forms and activities of cultural mediation, explicitly such forms and activities that reach beyond the boundaries of ‘classic’ museum work. The author starts with considerations about the crucial distinction between ‘representing’, ‘transferring’ and ‘promoting’ culture and reflects upon the ambiguous concept of cultural mediation and the problematic history of Folklore Studies in cultural education activities until the middle of the 20th Century. These considerations are followed by selected examples that give an insight into the broad range of past and current cultural education programs for different target groups, that are offered by Folklore Studies and neighboring disciplines. The focal point of the article is the question, which prerequisites and conditions are needed in order to get even non-specialists acquainted with the complex and multi-layered facets of culture – and how new areas of activity for cultural mediation can be developed, or how the already existing can be expanded. The article ends with the plea, that the representatives of the discipline should engage stronger and more systematically than before in the development of both culture-educational theories and culture-educational concepts for practical application.

mediating culture, cultural education, cultural mediation, intercultural learning, andragogy