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Inhis article, RedemptionRumors: Mercantile Legends and Corporate Beneficence,Gary Fine aims at exhibiting how the attitude of the public towardmedical technology and companies is altered into redemption rumors.Redemption rumor is defined as a kind of belief fable received byconsumers and which alleges that big companies would offer medicaltechnology to individuals who gather numerous product packages, tags,and labels. In most cases, the stories center on products such assoft drinks, beer, and cigarettes which raise health issues amongstconsumers. The author terms these as redemption rumors since theyconvey the desire of consumers to substantiate their own actions. Thecollections redeem consumers of their economic responsibilities. Finealso investigates the economic and social settings where the legendsare developed. This helps in revealing their plausibility as well asthe array of impacts on the economic setting. The author’s majorissues are linked with the public attitudes and universalcircumstances resulting in such beliefs.

Principally,Fine depends on data printed on magazines and newspaper in the UnitedStates in the previous thirty years. The author answers his researchquestion by investigating how these sources present the legend.

Theauthor concludes that the redemption rumors are not malevolenthowever they contain a degree of moral foundation in an environmentthat is characterized by dangers both from the chemical and economicsetting. The rumors have significant control in inspiring consumerbehavior and in exasperating the ones who are stung. The success ofthese rumors is a repercussion of folk beliefs regarding economicorder, the American society, as well as the moral foundations ofcertain products.


Ingeneral, I think Fine’s article is put forth in a desirable waythat captures the attention of the target reader. The author hasorganized the article in a methodical manner, which makes it easilyreadable. To start with, the research question is well put forth andit is quite interesting. Researching about redemption rumors as wellas their social and economic foundations greatly attracts the readerto desire to know more about the topic. Secondly, the data collectionmethods which involve the use of information printed on magazines andnewspapers in US is also outlined. The literature review iscomprehensive while the conclusion of the research is well stated.The findings of this research are insightful to my understanding ofthe world in that they added to my body of knowledge of how consumerscan be redeemed of their economic responsibilities by variouscollections. Besides, I have learnt how social and economic settingscan influence certain rumors in a society which are regarded to havemoral foundations.



Inhis article, `TheCastrated Boy`: Another Contribution to the Psychoanalytic Study ofUrban Legends,Michael Carroll tries to investigate the popularity of the CastratedBoy story (CB story), as well as the atheoretical nature of thesubsisting debates concerning urban legends. Many past commentatorshave offered their views regarding the popularity of the CB story,and in this article, Carroll attempts to explain his own arguments,while differing with some. He asserts that the CB story isoccasionally employed to convey the feelings towards the minoritiesbut this is not an adequate explanation to explicate its popularityas compared to other urban legends.

Thehypothesis used in this article is related to the desire of female tocastrate a male and this result in an enlightenment of the popular ofthe CB story. It is the same with the explanation provided in the“`Dead Baby` joke cycle” by Dundes. The author has relied on pastworks of other authors to answer his research question. He alsoobtained some data from the University of California’s FolkloreArchives.

Carrollconcludes by saying that the CB story is popular since it fulfils ina quite direct and apparent way the unconscious wish to castrate afive year old boy which develops in a vast numerous adult females.The popularity of the story is derived from the reality that itpermits for explicit fulfillment of unconscious female wishes, whichare castrating a male and eradicating the initial sexual disparityexperience. The author asserts that public stress regarding socialdisparities between females and males will continue promoting thepopularity of the story.


Generally,the article is well written and easily readable by the target reader.It is also orderly and this improves its readability as well asunderstanding. The research question is well stated, and it is fairlyinteresting. Researching the popularity of a certain urban legendwould attract the interest of many readers who would want tounderstand the same. The study limitations as well as the majorconclusions made by the author are also well stated. The study ofurban legends has the capacity of offering individuals with insight.This is based on the reason that they are folk traditions are uniquefrom the contemporary industrialized society.

Relationshipbetween the Articles

Bothof the articles are folk tradition stories. The authors aim atexplaining some legends which have yielded great interest in thesociety. Both the CB story and the Redemption rumors story areconcerned with the satisfaction of a certain kind of wish. Forinstance, the CB story attempts to gratify some wish founded on themale unconscious, while the redemption rumors story tries to gratifythe desire of consumers to obtain medical technology by gatheringvarious collections such as product packages and labels. Finally,both stories are concerned with contributing to the growing body ofknowledge that aims at discovering the insensible popularity of urbanlegends. This explains the fundamental issues of persons living incontemporary industrial environments. Besides, both articles appearto be in the same level of knowledge.


Carroll,Michael P. `The Castrated Boy`: Another Contribution to thePsychoanalytic Study of Urban Legends. Folklore.98, 2 (1987): 216-225.

Fine,Gary Alan. Redemption Rumors: Mercantile Legends and CorporateBeneficence. The Journalof American Folklore.99, 392, (1986): 208-222.