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Posted on April 26th, 2014, by

In the field of cultural studies, the special methods of socio-cultural observations and socio-cultural reflection have especially stood out. The method of socio-cultural observation is different from the common scientific methods primarily by the fact that under the conditions of its application the features and properties are given, which can identify and attribute the culture for its subsequent in-depth study. The method of socio-cultural reflection also implies prior knowledge of the properties and features of the culture, but its specificity is the construction of the concept of “culture”¯ based on data obtained from the socio-cultural observations.

In addition to the socio-cultural historical-genetic method used in the scientific literature, a different approach to genetic problems has appeared, being called cultural genesis11. The method of cultural genesis, in contrast to the traditional socio-cultural historical-genetic method, examines the phenomena of culture as continually emerging and

 

 

 

10 Basing on Fiske 135-160; Turner 143-65.

 

11 Mentioned by Fiske 156-57.

 

updating, thus considering the problems of not emergence but continuous development of cultural forms. This method requires comparison of different states of cultural phenomena for grounding and proving its ongoing development. If the study uses the principles of cultural genesis, there is no need to carefully study the extensive factual material of a given period, to define the time of emergence of an event or a fact. Using the method of cultural genesis, one should start not with the origins, but with fixing the object in the time overseen in order to compare it with its previous or future state. However, the cultural genesis in comparison with the socio-cultural historical-genetic method, as a rule, is of individual nature. It is limited by the issues, goals and objectives of the study because in accordance with the terms of the study the individual episodes and concrete objects are highlighted, and sometimes individual typologies of cultural objects.

While methods of social sciences have broader application, the disadvantages of approach of cultural studies is that special methods are not applicable in other disciplines due to the fact that they are limited to a specific feature of the research subject, in this case in the field of cultural studies.

At the same time cultural studies are understood as “discursive formation”¯ devoid of strictly defined particular object and subject of study. On the other hand, undertaking a study of what for the past three hundred years was not considered culture but was understood as non-culture, cultural studies have changed the idea of an object and the methodology of the study of the current state of culture. Products and content of mass culture, mass media, culture of minorities and marginalized groups – the study and understanding of the organization and functioning of these elements complement and alter the academic discourse.

Still, the potential of cultural studies, which consists in the fact that study of culture in the academic environment is the only force that has the potential to make changes to it, is completely neutralized by the institutionalization of this environment. The need for clear positioning of cultural studies in humanitarian discourse is explained very quite simply: if cultural studies are not a teaching, they have no place in the academic field, while the discursive nature of cultural studies is recognized. Given that the cultural studies are set necessarily critical to the politics of disciplinary knowledge, there is an impossibility to institutionalize them within the traditional academic disciplines 12. But this contradiction persists as long as cultural studies address issues of power. And with some reservations, it can be argued that cultural studies and media studies have played an important role in shaping the open research paradigm of the internet studies.

In general, the exhaustion of the logical paradigm and the birth of a new quality of cultural consciousness assume the appearance of the main carrier of this consciousness ”“ “structural man”¯ who opposes, on the one hand, the logocentric tradition embodied in classical science, on the other hand, the blind mass consciousness oriented on social clichĆ©s, cultural narratives, and stereotypes. In the mind of “structural man”¯ scientific and artistic pictures of the world are united on the complementary principle.

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