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  1. I would like to point out that there are at least two cultural studies. One of them was formed in the USSR in the 1960s and was greatly influenced by Soviet philology and linguistics. The other , cultural studies , was founded around the same time in Britain, at the Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies (the so-called “Birmingham School”), and from there it spread to Europe and around the world. One of the key figures of this movement was the Marxist sociologist and cultural critic Stuart Hall. In a broader sense, “culturology” can be called any approach to the study of the phenomena of human culture. Western cultural studies differed from Soviet ones, in particular, by its strong political involvement and special attention to issues of mass culture, identity, and power.

    Structuralism originated from the linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure considered language as a sign (semiotic) system, the meanings of which exist due to the structure of differences between elements. Language does not reflect the objective world; it creates meanings through a series of differences between elements and signs. A “sign” itself consists of the distinction between a” signifier “(the sequence of sounds or letters in a word) and a” signified ” (the idea of what is meant). That is, for example, no two people can pronounce “a” exactly the same, but it doesn't matter – “a” is “a”, because it's not “o”, not “y”, etc. Similarly, ” cat “- because not “whale” and not “cabinet”, and “top” – because not “bottom”, etc. It is important to note that the sign is arbitrary and has nothing to do with the objective world – the signified is an idea within the sign system, not a referent. Arbitrariness makes language a timeless system-arbitrary signifiers are historical, but the structure itself is ahistorical, so it can be explored by synchronic analysis.

    Saussure was mainly interested in linguistics, but this concept of structure as a system of relations between elements became the central concept of structuralism in general. Later, it moved into social disciplines and cultural studies, including various researchers (for example, Roland Barthes) analyzed culture as if it were a sign system with a structure similar to language in the Saussure sense.

    In the USSR, structuralist methods in cultural studies were used by the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School, founded by Yu. Lotman. Its representatives considered and studied culture as a sign system that has various social functions, for example, maintaining group solidarity (which resembles the concept of structural functionalism in sociology).

    Post-structuralism, which emerged as a reaction to structuralism, can very roughly be described as a critique of structuralism's idea of universal structures hidden in language and other social practices. We can also note historicism (diachronism), dynamics, blurring of meanings, pluralism and constructionism of post-structuralism versus ahistorism, statics, clarity, hierarchy and essentialism of structuralism.

    Because of the impossibility of permanent structures, identity is of particular interest to poststructuralism : if there is no system of differences and relations between elements, then there can be no clear significations, either in language or in culture (which, as we remember, structuralist cultural studies considers similar to language). For example, even the relation ” male (because not female)/a woman (because not a man) ” becomes problematic. One of the most important representatives of this approach to criticizing structuralism was Derrida, who used deconstruction, diffĂ©rance, trace and other terrible words.

    Another important issue for post – structuralism is power. Foucault believed that power can stabilize the constant play and fluidity of signifi – cations, turning it into a “discourse” – a dynamic system of power relations implemented through language/knowledge and utterances, signifying social practices, making it possible to understand them in one way or another. Language and culture are inseparable from power, and in some cases Foucault implicitly uses “discourse”, “language”, “knowledge” and “power” as synonyms. Stuart Hall has noted that cultural studies have adopted the ideas and concepts of Derrida, Foucault, and some other researchers, and their influence is difficult to overestimate.

    To sum up, it is not easy to identify some “basic ideas” of these phenomena in cultural studies, especially in the case of post-structuralism, if you do not use very general phrases like “the main idea of structuralism in cultural studies is the idea of the structure of a sign system of culture.”

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