Updated NTA UGC NET Syllabus for Folk Literature (2019)



(w.e.f. June 2019)


The UGC has revised the pattern and scheme of exam from December 2018. The pattern of exam has been changed from 3 papers (Paper I, II & III) to 2 papers (Paper I & II). Now, there are 50 MCQs in Paper 1 and 100 MCQs in Paper 2. Each question carries 2 marks without any NEGATIVE marking for wrong answer.

According to NEW SYLLABUS (June 2019 onwards) and new pattern (since Dec 2018), the exam would be Online Mode. 

The UGC NET exam would be computer based like bank PO, SSC exam. the Paper 2 will have 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with each question carrying two (2) marks i.e. 200 marks in total. The objective type questions will include multiple choices, matching type, true/false and assertion-reasoning type etc.

The New Syllabus of Folk Literature for UGC NET Exam June 2019 onward will be as follows:


Unit–1 Folklore: Definition, Concept and Classification

Who is the Folk? – Concepts of Folk life and Folkloristics – Ethnicity – Family types – Natal, Conjugal, Nuclear, Extended (Generational and Polyandrous) – Types of relationships in Family – direct, shared, sexual and descent – Functions of Family -Kinship Terminology: Types of Kinship, Role of Kinship – Social Categories and Social Organization in the creation, transmission and sustenance of Folklore / Folk life.

Conceptual shift from ‘Popular Antiquities’ to ‘Folklore’ – Genres and Functions of Folklore: Ethnic Genres and Analytical Categories – Classification of Folklore: Verbal, Nonverbal and Intermediary Genres – Genre Theory: Alan Dundes, Richard Dorson, Ben Amos, Richard Bauman, Roger Abrahams – Functions of Folklore: William Bascom, Louri Honko – Characteristics of Folklore.


Unit–2 Historiography of Folkloristics

Folk, from ‘Savage’ to ‘Imagined Group’ – Folklore as Data and Folklore as Study – Oracy Vs. Literacy – Classical Vs. Folk – Emergence of Folklore as an Academic Discipline – Folklore Studies in Abroad – Folklore Studies in India – Subaltern Studies – Tribal Studies – Diaspora Studies – Green Studies.


Unit–3 Folk Literature

Definition and Epistemology of Folk Literature Fields of Folk Literature: Myths, Epics, Legends, Folk Tales, Folk Songs, Proverbs, Riddles, Tongue Twisters, Speech Acts – Verbal Art in Performances (Theatre, Dance Drama, Medicinal Chants, Verbose in Play Genres, etc.) – Literary Devices – Ethnic Slurs, Rumor, Personal Narratives – Oral History.


Unit–4 Theories of Folklore – I: Diachronic Approaches

Evolutionary Theories – Concept of Evolution – Unilinear and Multilinear Approaches – E.B. Tylor, George Mudrock, Lewis Morgan, James Frazer – Myth-Ritual Theory – Solar Mythology or Comparative Philology.

Devolutionary Theories – Concept of Devolution – Types of Devolutionary Theories – Marxists and Elitists.

Diffusion Theories (Monogenesis) – Concept of Diffusion – Indianist Theory or Benfy’s Migration Theory – Egyptians School and Finnish School or Historical-Geographic Method.

Diffusion Theories (Polygenesis) – Psychic Unity – Convergence Vs. Parallelism Theories – Romantic Nationalism and its Manifestations.


Unit–5 Theories of Folklore – II: Synchronic Approaches

Structural Approaches – Basic concepts – Syntagmatic Structuralism – Concepts of Ferdinand de Saussure and Theory of Vladimir Propp –– Application of Proppian Model to Folklore – Paradigmatic Structuralism – Concepts of Roman Jacobson and Theory of Claude Levi-Strauss – Application of Straussian Model to Folklore.

Functional Approaches – Basic Concepts – Social Functionalists: Bronislaw Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown, Emile Durkheim – Symbolic Functionalists: Clifford Geertz, Victor Turner.

Psychological Approaches – Psychoanalysis – Basic Concepts – Sigmund Freud – Freud’s Theoretical applications to Folklore – Analytical Psychology – Basic Concepts – Carl J. Jung – Jung’s Theoretical Applications to Folklore – Jacques Lacan’s Theory.

Contextual Approaches – Basic Concepts – Verbal Art as Performance – Linguistic and Communicative Models of Roman Jacobson – Oral Formulaic Theory or Parry-Lord Theory – Lauri Honko’s concept of ‘Multiforms’.

Poststructural and Postmodern Approaches – Meaning and Tenets of Post-structuralism, New Hermeneutics, Text, Textuality, Textual Analysis – Paul Ricoeur and Theories of Interpretation Historical Milieu of the Theories – Concept and Theory of Deconstruction – Derrida, Lacan, Foucault – Gender Theories and Approaches Gender and Genre – Feminism and Gender Perspectives – Queer Theory.

Semiotic Approaches – Semiotic Approach to Folk Culture Studies – Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles S. Pierce on Sign System and Culture – Perspectives on Discourse Analysis.


Unit–6 Folklife and Cultural Performances

Culture as Performance – Erving Goffman, Clifford Geertz, Milton Singer – Rites of Passage and Territorial Rites – Arnold van Gennep, Victor Turner – Performance Centered Approach – Roger D. Abrahams, Richard Bauman, Richard Schechner Dell Hymes’s Ethnography of Speaking Approach – Analysis of Folk Narratives.


Unit–7 Public Folklore and Mass Media

Basic Concepts – Folklore, Folklorism, Folklorismus, Folklorization, Applied Folklore, Public Folklore and Second Life of Folklore – Folklore in Public Sphere – Folklore and Communication – Folklore and New Media.


Unit–8 Folklore and Globalisation

Theories of Global Culture – Discourse on Modernity, Post-Modernity and Globalisation – Ideologues of Globalisation – Emergence of Populism.

Influence of Globalisation in Socio-cultural Life – Issues and Concepts of Identity – Glocal vs. Global, Homogeneity Vs. Heterogeneity and Hybridization – Changing Dimensions and domains of Folklore Genres and Folk Performances – Cultural Tourism – Neo-Folk Formations and Protest Movements – Challenges to Native Cultures – Bio-politics.


Unit–9 Indian Folk Cultural Practices

Genres of Folk Theatre – Narrative Enactments – Puppet Theatre – Dance Dramas – Musical Traditions and Life Style Patterns – Naming System and Onomastics – Occupational Folklore – Family Folklore – Folk Religious Practices – Pilgrimage and Ritual Practices – Fairs and Festivals – Folk Medicinal Practices – Folk Art and Craft – Folk Architecture – Folk Foodways and Culinary Practices – Folk Games – Dress and Clothing – Manners and Customs – Customary Law and Jurisprudence – Worldview – Regional Variations and Versions.


Unit–10 Fieldwork, Documentation and Archival Practices

Categorization of Fieldwork Operations: Pre-fieldwork, Fieldwork and Post-fieldwork – Notions of ‘field’ and ‘data’- Thick and Thin Data – Methods and Techniques Survey Method, Observation Method – Ethnographic Method – Postmodern Ethnographic Method – Dialogical and Discourse Methods – Focus Group Method – Documentation and Archival Practices – Preservation and Conservation of Tangible and Intangible Cultures – Fieldwork Ethics and Copyright Issues – Patent Rights.


Updated NTA UGC NET Syllabus for Folk Literature (2019) (PDF)



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