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Nostalgic to my childhood, symbolic to your culture: discussing the intercultural adaptation of culturally bound fairy tales

Faculty Advisor




fairy tales, cultural values

Abstract (summary)

This essay explores fairy tales as culturally bound stories that serve as the means of preserving and passing on cultural values and collective identity. Under the guise of cultural preservation and teaching, fairy tales communicate cultural values, therefore keeping cultures ideologically stagnant; however, when appropriated fairy tales, the fairy tales cannot be fully appreciated for their cultural and ideological value. By first establishing fairy tales as communication symbols that inform cultural tradition and ideology, fairy tales are discussed for their role in moral education for children and in shaping children’s perceptions of culture. German fairy tales from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the Brothers Grimm are examined for their association with the construction of German culture and the rise of German nationalism. Finally, fairy tales are discussed for their role in American culture, though as appropriated texts, are tokens of entertainment rather than culture.

Publication Information

Bergum, J. (2022). Nostalgic to my Childhood, Symbolic to Your Culture: Discussing the Intercultural Adaptation of Culturally Bound Fairy Tales. MacEwan University Student EJournal, 6(1).


Item Type

Student Article



Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)