Mudcat Café message #4034150 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4034150
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
14-Feb-20 - 03:01 AM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
@ Jag

You asked why songs were so often collected from people down at the bottom of the social scale. This is an interesting question.

I think one of Harker's point is that often we simply do not know about the people who provided the songs. We know that Rankin provided a lot of songs, but he was treated as a 'source' so where he got them isn't clear.

It is also interesting to ask where you draw the line that puts people at the 'bottom' of the scale. Do we put skilled artisans there? Do we put smallholders there? Does a 'peasant' have to be landless to be there? Would somebody who had served an apprenticeship be there? Would the many self-employed workers there? Do we include only the strictly non-literate?

Bearman raises the question of social mobility within Sharp's groups of respondents. He does this because he wants to demolish a 'class' analysis. But it might apply to this question. This has happened to some extent throughout the centuries. This complicates attempts to say which social stratum people came from.

It may be that people from differing social groups provided different sorts of songs?

One thought I had here was that the make up of society has changed over the years. Once English society had a far smaller 'middle class',
Then it got more onion shaped, as the economy changed and more educated and skilled people were required. So once there were more people 'at the bottom' in terms of stratification?

We also could consider questions of gender and race, two socially important factors in society but not ones that appear to have exercised the minds of early collectors.