Anthropology, ethnology, folklore and social history
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In most of these countries (Britain is the main exception) †ethnology is the leading discipline which is concerned with own-society anthropological studies. In general terms, ethnology as a university subject, *museum profession and research field arose in the nineteenth century and is associated with ideologies of nationhood as embodied in cultural history. The focus is upon studies of ‘the folk’. In practice, this has traditionally meant *peasant cultures and rural history. In some countries, ethnology also encompasses *folklore and social history more generally. Each country has a distinctive national style, more or less populist in character, informed by its own charter texts. Rural peasant historical studies continue to be made, but the field is increasingly enlivened by infusions of theoretical ideas drawn from contemporary cultural and social anthropology; and there are new interests in processes of urbanization and *class formation (e.g. studies of ‘working-class culture’), and contemporary popular culture and social movements which borrow from *political economy, historical demography and *sociology. Ethnological work is normally published in the national language in national journals and other local outlets. While relatively little appears internationally in other languages, this should not be taken as an absence of a substantial corpus of knowledge of a broadly anthropological kind, with which any sociocultural anthropologist proposing to initiate research in a Northern European country will need to become familiar.