Chapter

Introduction: Theories of myth

Robert A. Segal

in Myth: A Very Short Introduction

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780192803474
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191775819 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780192803474.003.0001

Series: Very Short Introductions

Introduction: Theories of myth

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  • Social Psychology
  • Mythology and Folklore
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies
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  • Social and Cultural Anthropology

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Myth: A Very Short Introduction examines modern theories of myth. It is only in the modern era — specifically, only since the second half of the nineteenth century — that these theories have purported to be scientific, for only since then have there existed the professional disciplines that have sought to supply truly scientific theories of myth: the social sciences. Of these, anthropology, psychology, and to a lesser extent sociology, have contributed the most. Each discipline harbours multiple theories of myth, but what unites them is the questions asked: those of origin, function, and subject matter.

Keywords: Horatio Alger; Rudolf Bultmann; discipline; function; myth; subject

Chapter.  2887 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology ; Mythology and Folklore ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies ; Social and Cultural History ; Social and Cultural Anthropology

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