Key Concepts and Terms of Culturology
Despite the presence of academic works of a culturological paradigm in the USSR, for many years the discipline of culturology hardly developed at all. This could be explained by ideological factors, since culturology undertook to interpret the sociocultural development of society from perspectives that were at odds with Soviet Marxism. However, with the crisis of the totalitarian system in the 1990s, culturology was admitted as an academic discipline to be taught at institutions of higher learning in Ukraine.
From its earliest beginnings, culturology was formed as an integrative study of society and culture. Its development in the twentieth century was marked by rapid advances due to an increased interest in culture and its history, growth in globalizing trends, and the formation of a new postindustrial, multicultural civilization. Culturology ("anthropology" or "culture studies" in the West) studies the various manifestations of "the living culture," the relations between individualsand society, the accomplishments and failures of technological culture, the transformation of aesthetics and the arts, the relationship between life and death in various cultures, the mutability of the philosophical paradigm in the history of culture, and many other things.
Humanitarian culturology is based on literature studies, ethnography, religious studies, art history, philosophy, and aesthetics. The development of art philosophy and history brought about the emergence of fundamental culturology, which studied the regularities of the historical and social existence of culture, the system of methodologies, systematization, and analysis of the material under consideration (epistemology). Ethnography "gave birth" to anthropology, which studies everyday human life, patterns of normative behavior and consciousness. Applied culturology develops the practice and technology of cultural management in society.
Effectively, culturology is the meeting place for social factors, and functional, or purely cultural ones. This ambivalence generates countless interpretations of culture, which could become the subject of several courses in and of themselves. Thus, culture could be interpreted from the perspective of human activity, behavior, organization, psychology, symbolism, motivation, semiotics, axiology, etc. It is impossible to encompass the breadth of definitions and interpretations of culture, the inexhaustible store of its essential and functional characteristics. It is a way of knowing and ordering the world, a method of generating behavioral patterns, social activity, a unique way of reflecting and registering social experience, a system of interpreting texts, a way to separate objects of the surrounding world, a means of cultivating and transferring knowledge, a self-regulating system of norms and rules, a conflict zone, a system of channels of information flow, etc. As we can see, there can be as many definitions, as there are elusive cultural forms.
"Key Concepts and Terms of Culturology" is a course intended to ease the students’entry into the problem field of culturology. It aims to provide a compass, and form a clear vision of the problems of the field.