Folkloristics is the formal academic study of folklore. What actually constitutes folklore is disputed even within the discipline, but generally folklore focuses on the forms of artistic expression communicated within groups. Historically, folklore has directed its attention towards oral narratives such as fairy tales and mythology, but in recent years has gained a strong focus on social science research and no longer limits its study to strictly oral communication.
Scholars specializing in folkloristics are known as folklorists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were often called "antiquarians." Those who specialize in the study of myth are called "mythologists". Some scholars include:
Literature on the subject of folkloristics
- Bendix, Regina (1988), In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
- Bronner, Simon J. (1986), American Folklore Studies: An Intellectual History. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
- Brunvand, Jan Harold (1997), The Study of American Folklore. 4th ed. New York
- Cocchiara, Giuseppe (1981), The History of Folklore in Europe. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
- Dundes, Alan, ed. (1965), The Study of Folklore. Prentice-Hall.
- Dundes, Alan (1975), Analytic Essays in Folklore. The Hague
- Dundes, Alan, ed. (1999), International Folkloristics. Rowman & Littlefield.
- Goldstein, Kenneth (1964), A Guide for Field Workers in Folklore. Hatboro, Pennsylvania: Folklore Associates.
- Toelken, Barre (1979). The Dynamics of Folklore. Houghton-Mifflin.
- Zumwalt, Rosemary Levy (1988), American Folklore Scholarship: A Dialogue of Dissent. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
- American Folklore Society
- Western States Folklore Society
- Folklore Studies Association of Canada
- Indiana University's Folklore Program
- UC Berkeley's Folklore Program
- Memorial University of Newfoundland's Folklore Program
- Western Kentucky's Folklore Program
- Utah State's Folklore Program
- University of Oregon's Folklore Program
- Kansas Folklore Society
- UNC's Folklore Program
- UCLA's World Arts and Cultures Program
- Florida Folklife Program
- Interviews with several American folklorists