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What is Cultural Studies?

What is Cultural Studies?

Cultural studies is a term that one can notice has increasingly become popular over the years in academia. Nowadays, universities worldwide offer both undergrad and postgrad cultural studies programs, and programs that focus on subsections of the field such as media studies or literary studies. However, it being a relatively newer field of study, there are still many who do not know what it entails. So, what exactly is cultural studies?

Cultural studies is an interdisciplinary academic discipline that is rooted in subjects from both the humanities and the social sciences and is based upon theories and practices from the same. While many of the seminal texts of cultural studies and early theorists of the discipline were based in the late nineteenth century and twentieth century, its establishment and recognition as an area of academic study happened later.

Also this part of science emerged as a field in post-war Britain in the 50s and 60s, from the minds of scholars such as Raymond Williams, Richard Hoggart and Stuart Hall. They wanted to study how the emergence of mass media and consumer society was changing the cultural landscape of Britain. Their own positionalities and lived experiences (being working class, being Black) played a role in the themes they wanted to study. It is important to note here that these founding figures never considered CS as only an academic discipline.

Cultural Studies as a field, especially with regard to its origins, is one that is hugely influenced by the Marxist school of thought and critical theory, and thus politically is aligned with the left. Some of the major theories that CS is influenced by include structuralism, post-structuralism, semiotics, post-colonialism, feminist theory, queer theory, literary theory, etc. It aims to look into how the vectors of gender, race, sexuality, class, etc shape the production-consumption and dissemination of culture and media.

Values constitute the meaning of culture and every human soul, their central core therefore, they
cannot constitute a certain part of their content or occupy such their place only for some specific
time. It is such a content that when embodied in a particular stage of life, it does not end there, since
values have a due character, which, even when realized, does not lose its actualization. Realized in
this act, they are born from this act again as due, because values as due are realized in all acts of life
while they are values that are preserved and at the same time these values as the result of their
implementation can only be the whole life of an individual. As a certain way or way of life, values
cannot be given or imposed on individuals externally: they are the result of their spiritual creativity
and freedom, and their choices.

Today, the field of cultural studies is one that is vast and has gained importance across the globe. There are numerous associations, research centres and journals centred around cultural studies present worldwide, and various international conferences. The importance of cultural studies is relevant now more than ever as the world is experiencing upheavals whether it be socio-cultural, political or environmental, with cultural practices and media playing a big role.

Мәдениеттану мамандығының 3 курс студенті: Тоқан А.Н

Өндірістік тәжірибе жетекшісі: Есболова М.А