Alteration and Transformation of Belief in the Context of Digital Folklore: The Cases of Cyber Congregation

Zohre Eryilmaz H.

MILLI FOLKLOR, vol.2020, no.126, pp.110-117, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2020 Issue: 126
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.110-117
  • Keywords: New Media, digital folklore, cyber congregations, cultural change and conversion, vernacular
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


With the Internet becoming a natural and integral part of life, it is gathered under the name of "new media studies" in different disciplines of social sciences, especially in the field of communication sciences and cultural studies. Currently media studies occupy more places each passing day that is because internet- providing inter-active social domain to the person differently from usual media such as newspaper, book, journal and radio-takes up space in human life. The main reason why significant the new means forming social and cultural do-main in the sense of folklore is it means a new study field for folklorists. This field, which is called digital folklore, is a new cultural field different from classical folklore and exists in the dynamics of the internet environment. The article discusses the difference between digital folklore and classical folklore, which is the general view of "Folklore is an artistic act that occurs at the time of communication." and it is mentioned that this new "digital field" has become a field of folklore in time with the reaction to the use of the internet in folklore. Following this distinction, the article examines congregations where people do not physically coexist as a result of the digital field. The purpose of the article is to draw attention to the occurrence of these communities called cyber congregations, their changes and transformations according to spatial congregations. Because, the structure that creates digital folklore is the change that occurred in its own formation process and the culture created by this change, as opposed to the transfer of folklore products to the digital directly and without any interpretation. In order to analyze these changes and transformations, and thus this emerging culture, in the study, the netnography technique that deals with the text-based analysis of web content is used in a content-based approach. To examine these changes and transformations occurring, in this study, netnography technique has been used involving text-based analysis of web content within content-based approach. While applying the method, the texts in the sites examined has been analyzed, and 'innovation' along with 'tradition' in discourse has been also revealed. Primarily conceptual framework has been constituted such as new media, digital folklore and cyber congregation on digital folklore in this study. Thereafter, the web sites '' and `' have been examined in terms of web-based text analyzed. So, the formation of spatial congregations and cyber congregations have been discussed. In this study, attention is drawn to texts and elements of belief that have their origins in traditional belief but are also transformed with individual and open to interpretation. In addition, the term "vernacular, which is used by Howard for the first time, has been explained. Hereunder, attention is drawn to the new way of expressing belief in this new media. As a result, in the study, it has been demonstrated that the traditional belief originated in cyber communities, shows similarity at the starting point in terms of meaning and purpose, but the main point to be noted is the changes and transformations that occur in the "belief' -an area that is thought to be untouchable and immutable- element rather than similarity.