The reluctant Folklorist: Jon Y. Lee, Paul Radin, and the fieldwork process

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Abstract

In the early 1930s, the anthropologist Paul Radin hired Jon Lee to collect Chinese American folk narratives in Oakland's Chinatown. These were later published as The Golden Mountain: Chinese Tales Told in California. Despite being lead fieldworker for the project, Lee's contributions have been largely overlooked. This paper examines Lee's important folkloristic work and opens up a wider discussion about the role that professional aspirations play in shaping the field methodologies of folklorists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-424
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of American Folklore
Volume127
Issue number506
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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