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.
- Bronner, Simon J. (1998), Following Tradition: Folklore in the Discourse of American Culture. Logan: Utah State University Press.
- Bronner, Simon J., ed. (2008), The Meaning of Folklore: The Analytical Essays of Alan Dundes. Logan: Utah State University Press.
- 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.