Cultural Studies: What does it study and how?
Cultural Studies is an “interdisciplinary” field concerned with the study of culture in all of its aspects. Its source disciplines are media studies, literary criticism, film studies, sociology, anthropology, history, political science and psychology. Going beyond the elitist and narrow conventional definition of culture as “the best of what has been thought and said,” Cultural Studies focuses on all kinds of cultural practices and products. For Cultural Studies, “culture” is not simply high art but all kinds of practices of production of sign and meaning; it does not involve only the self-conscious aspect of societies and social groups, but also their habits, traditions and everyday life; and it is not simply homogenous and static, but heterogeneous, dynamic and ever-changing.
Major topics and concerns of Cultural Studies are:
- media and culture industry, cultural policies and popular culture;
- film, art and literature;
- visual culture and visual technologies;
- language, image, symbolic structures and ideologies;
- identity and subjectivity;
- class, gender, race and ethnicity;
- cultural history;
- colonialism and post-colonial world;
- globalization, global and local cultures;
- Orientalism and Westernism;
- cultural power and hegemony;
- cultural aspects of politics and public sphere;
- cultural difference, dissidence, and resistance, sub-cultures;
- new media and technologies, changing notions of time and space.
Cultural Studies at İstanbul Şehir University: Approach and Philosophy
The M.A. Program in Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary program established with the contributions of various departments and faculty: Media Studies, Sociology, Turkish Literature, Psychology, Political Science and International Relations, and History. The program offers a rich variety of courses that covers all major areas of research in cultural studies and teaches its most well-known theories and methods (semiology, post-structuralism, post-colonial studies, psychoanalysis, Frankfurt School, sociology, ethnography and history) for studying various aspects of cultural life from film and literature to television and popular culture. It encourages independent, critical and analytic thinking, motivates the students to do scholarly and interdisciplinary research in multiple fields of culture and puts a special emphasis on cultural plurality, change and creativity as essential aspects of cultural life.
The program has two major areas of special emphasis:
Critical analysis of the increasingly industrialized, commercialized and spectacular contemporary cultural scene; theories, methods and debates in this field; cultural texts, meanings, identities and differences; hegemony and resistance; globality and locality.
Modern Ottoman-Turkish cultural history, especially a critical and analytic grasp of Turkish cultural modernity; Orientalism and Westernism; nation-state, political culture and social and ideological movements; a dynamic and pluralist approach to various modern cultural histories of literature, cinema, music, visual arts, media, popular culture, religion, ethnicity and everyday life.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated October 30, 2017