Revisiting C. Wright Mills' portrayal of grand theory in The Sociological Imagination, I extend his insights to reflect on theory more generally. Mills' critique of Talcott Parsons engages both the conceptual substance and rhetorical style of grand theory. I build on Mills to argue for the value of flexibly moving between (1) levels of generality and (2) registers of language, when using theory. Folklorists acquire theory from interactions in fieldwork as well as from disciplinary training and...[Show more]
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