Culturology (Культурология) is a new discipline institutionalized in Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and some other states of the former Soviet Bloc. Defined as an integral study of human cultures as integral systems and their influence on human behavior, it may be formally compared to the Western discipline of Cultural studies, however it has a number of important distinctions.

Culturology is introduced into the VAK list of categories of specialties for which scientific degrees may be awarded and is a compulsory object of study during the first year in the institutions of higher education and in secondary schools.

History of the term in Russia

The notion of culturology in Russia may be traced to late 19th century and early 20th century and associated with the names of Mikhail Bakhtin, Aleksei Losev, Sergey Averintsev, Georgy Gachev, Yuri Lotman, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Vladimir Toporov, and others. During the Stalinist era this kind or research was superseded by Marxist social studies. Culturology as an interdisciplinary field reemerged in late 1960s.


American anthropologist Leslie White used the term "culturology" for his scientific studies of culture, which he defined as "the field of science which studies and interprets the distinct order of phenomena termed culture and presented in a series of essays "The Science of Culture". "Teleculturology" emerged in international telecommunication standards organizations influenced by the work of Marshall McLuhan to describe studies of participation in cultural and medical practices at a distance.


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