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Studying Legend from Past to Present: Review of Academician Yih-Yuan Li's Research on ＂Myth and Legend＂
|Keywords: ||神話與傳說 ; 口傳文化; 價值體系; 跨文化比較研究 ; 跨學科研究 |
myth and legend ; oral culture; value system ; cross-cultural comparative study; interdisciplinary study
|Issue Date: ||2019-10-03 13:41:20 (UTC+8)|
Myth and legend-a kind of oral culture-are not only considered part of religious beliefs and rituals but are also connected to social memory and ethnic history. This article reviews Academician Yih-Yuan Li's studies of myth and legend in different academic periods from the 1950s to the 1990s. The objective of the article is to underscore the ways in which Li developed interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks and research methods to analyze the versatile contexts of myth and legend as supernatural beliefs. This article begins with the review of his ethnographic fieldwork in Taiwan's Austronesian groups, and discusses his cross-cultural comparative perspectives in this research. It also examines his interdisciplinary approach in the 1960s to study the value systems of myth and legend by taking views and concepts from the disciplines of both psychology and anthropology, as well as his application of structural anthropological theory in the study of ＂legend and ritual＂ in the 1980- 90s. Through selecting Li's representative works and doing close textual analyses of them, this article suggests that cross-cultural comparative study and interdisciplinary perspectives were important academic thoughts demonstrated explicitly in Li's work. His research on myth and legend, I further argue, was the initial step in his academic career where he adopted psychological theories in doing anthropological research. In the trajectory of his career, the subjects of his research shifted from Taiwan's Austronesian peoples to Han societies. More broadly, such change exemplifies the transformations of the research topics in the discipline of Anthropology in Taiwan over time, starting from Austronesian study to Han study to the study of overseas Chinese societies. Within this background, this article specifically reviews and discusses three different stages of Li's research: ＂Myth/legend as ethnic history and social memory,＂ ＂Myth/legend as value system,＂ and ＂Myth/legend as structural rule of the human mind.＂ What is shown in his research is the connection of meanings of the past and the present as well as the intersection of the sacred and the secular. Also, his research shows the changes in anthropological approaches to the study of oral culture, as well as the methods and theoretical frameworks he used under the political, social and cultural transformations of oral culture. Tracing the academic contexts within which Li developed his thoughts and methods, this article shows some of the important ways in which his work inspired Taiwan Anthropology.
|Relation: ||臺灣人類學刊, Vol.16, No.2, pp.47-93|
|Data Type: ||article|
|Appears in Collections:||[民族學系] 期刊論文|
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