The media culture is purposefully created by a group of professionals and there is an unbridgeable distance (including physical) between the creators of this culture and its consumers. Media culture is the nature and forms generated by the culture industry, as well as the mode of production and distribution of such culture. Special attention is paid to the cycles
5 Hall’s theory discusses by Turner 73.
6 Cited in Fiske 43, Communication, Meaning and Signs, in Introduction to Communication Studies (Routledge, 1990).
7 Basing on Hardt 112 (Journal of Communication Inquiry 10.2 (1986): 17-124).
of production, consumption and perception of artifacts broadcasted by the mass media, their role in society through cultural studies. The interest of researchers is focused not only on the process of functioning of the media as a social institution, but also on what impact it has on the audience and what is the source of power for the media in general and television in particular. The volume of meanings and the number of possible interpretations of a media text as a discourse depends on the social experience of individuals, because not every audience is able to read all the discursive meanings in the text. Actually, S. Hall’s article “Encoding/Decoding”ť is devoted to this issue 8. Thus, the achievements of cultural studies become the basis for the development of visual studies, for which the “world-as-text”ť transforms into the “”ťworld-as-image.”ť
In this way, knowledge of culture, understanding of its specificity, ability to isolate its special features and functions makes it possible to create new methods of research within the interests of cultural studies. Thus, in addition to the traditional methods of social sciences, structural, functional and structural-functional, the method of linear regression can also be used. It consists in a comprehensive study of culture in its evolutionary or situational changes over a specified time. On the common axis of culture development various forms of its manifestation are highlighted, where the forms repeated in homogeneous or heterogeneous conditions become especially noticeable. This method of cultural studies contains both structural and functional approaches combining them with a particular form of socio-cultural observations 9.
8 Ideas based on the analysis of Hall’s “Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse”ť (Birmingham: Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 1973).
9 See Chapter 7 “Structuralist theory and its Application”ť in Introduction to Communication Studies by Fiske.
In general, in the research practice of cultural studies, its own special methods have gradually formed, notably enriching the existing methods of culture research and in a way contributing to the understanding of scientific methodology. The methods developed directly in the subject field of cultural studies include 10:
”˘ method of reconstruction of cultural fields;
”˘ method of modeling of cultural objects;
”˘ socio-cultural historical-genetic method;
”˘ method of mosaic reconstructions;
”˘ method of socio-cultural observations;
”˘ method of sociopsychological and socio-cultural inversions, etc.