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The foundations and prerequisites of imagology

V.P. Trykov
80,00 Р

UDC 81:2   


Trykov Valerii P.,

Doctor of Philology, Professor,

Professor of the World Literature Department

of Institute of Philology

Moscow Pedagogical State University



The article examines the conceptual foundations and scientific, sociocultural and philosophical prerequisites of imagology, the field of interdisciplinary research in humanitaristics, the subject of which is the image of the “Other” (foreign country, people, culture, etc.). It is shown that the imagology appeared as a response to the crisis of comparatives of the mid-20th century, with a special role in the formation of its methodology played by the German comparatist scientist H. Dyserinck and his Aachen School. The article analyzes the influence on the formation of the imagology of post-structuralist and constructivist ideological-thematic complex (auto-reference of language, discursive history, construction of social reality, etc.), linguistic and cultural turn in the West in the 1960s. Shown is that, extrapolated to national issues, this set of ideas and approaches has led to a transition from the essentialist concept of the nation to the concept of a nation as an “imaginary community” or an intellectual construct. A fundamental difference in approaches to the study of an image of the “Other” in traditional comparativism and imagology, which arises from a different understanding of the nation, has been distinguished. It is concluded that the imagology studies the image of the “Other” primarily in its manipulative, socio-ideological function, i.e., as an important tool for the formation and transformation of national and cultural identity. The article identifies ideological, socio-political factors that prepared the birth of the imagology and ensured its development in western Humanities (fear of possible recurrences of extreme nationalism and fascism in post-war Europe, the EU project, which set the task of forming a pan-European identity). It is concluded that the imagology, on the one hand, has actualized an important field of scientific research — the study of the image of the “Other”, but, on the other hand, in the broader cultural and historical perspective, marked a departure not only from the traditions of comparativism and historical poetics, but also from the humanist tradition of the European culture, becoming part of a manipulative dominant strategy in the West. To the culture of “incorporation” into a “foreign word” in order to understand it, preserve it and to ensure a genuine dialogue of cultures, the imagology has contrasted the social engineering and the technology of active “designing” a new identity.

Keywords: imagology, the image of the “Other”, post-structuralism, constructivism, comparativism, historical poetics.



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