Study Of Local Cultures In The Context Of Globalization


The article focuses on the changes in theoretical and methodological approaches in historical and cultural studies in connection with the development of the globalization paradigm of the modern world. In the era of globalism there is a strengthening of the collective identity of local cultures, resulting in increased attention to the study of their specificity. The authors believe that the identification of the imperatives of a particular culture in its socio-cultural dynamics is possible only with the help of a methodology that allows to synthesize different scientific approaches, concepts, methods, techniques of research. This methodology can be called transdisciplinary (the term is widely used in modern science), as only a deep synthesis of disciplines allows to study culture as a constantly evolving system, which is unique in its internal organization and is a kind of matrix of existence. The author's approach involves the study of individual social systems in the cultural paradigm, the essence of which is in the understanding of culture as a system of archetypes, signs and images, to explore the relationship of which is possible only through the synthesis of different Sciences. In general, in solidarity with the representatives of the civilizational approach, the authors do not mix the concepts of "culture" and "civilization", believing that the latter is a mechanism for the embodiment of culture. The work focuses on the heritage of scientists who worked in transdisciplinary cultural paradigm: F.I. Buslaev, F.F. Zelinsky, N.Y. Danilevsky.

Keywords: Globalizationmethodologyculturetransdisciplinarityhumanities


The XXI century is the time of further development of the globalization paradigm. Modern globalization is based on a certain value-forming system, which claims to world hegemony and leveling of cultural identity of countries and peoples. Globalization acquires the character of globalism, which develops not spontaneously, but according to a given vector initiated by the economic and political actors of the modern world. However, globalization, despite the rapid development, still does not lead to cultural unification, but on the contrary, as noted by Huntington (1996), causing a "clash of civilizations", reinforces the collective identity of local cultures - a kind of "response" to external "challenges" (Toynbee, 2018). In the world there is a growing number of local conflicts, clashes on national grounds, which causes the desire of cultures not to integrate, but to differentiate. According to Robertson and Kathleen (2002) such process can be called glocalization.

Simultaneously with these processes, there is a growing attention to the study of local cultures. Become popular civilizational approaches to the study of society, the founders of which were of Toynbee and Danilevsky (as cited in Danilevsky, 2013), Spengler (2017). The development of humanitarian science in the XX century led to the understanding of the need for interdisciplinary approaches that could help to understand the specifics of the dynamics of a society, to determine the characteristics of a socio-cultural phenomenon. Interdisciplinarity, which has become a kind of scientific trend in recent decades, is often understood only as a mechanical combination of methods of different Sciences, when methods of related Sciences are occasionally used in the study. The development of interdisciplinary discourse leads scientists to the idea of the need for a deep synthesis of Sciences in the mind of the researcher, when scientific partitions are erased and it becomes possible to combine not only research methods, but also methodological guidelines, scientific paradigms. We believe that in modern science transdisciplinary methodology becomes relevant. Its application in the study of local culture as a system of interaction of archetypal foundations, sign system and images, allows identifying and studying the imperatives of socio-cultural life at all levels – from institutional to personal. It should be noted that the study of the national historical heritage revealed the ideas of scientists of the XIX–early XX centuries, which have long been unjustifiably forgotten and not widely used by researchers. Such scientists are Buslaev (2014), Zelinsky (2019), Danilevsky (2013), they left behind a great scientific heritage, requiring study and reception in the context of new methodological approaches of modern Humanities.

Problem Statement

Globalization processes cause tendencies in modern science to study local cultures from the point of view of understanding their specificity and methodology of study. The problem of this work lies in the identification and study of the heritage of Buslaev (2014), Zelinsky (2019), Danilevsky (2013) in the context of the applicability of their ideas in the study of local cultures.

Research Questions

The subject of study is the ideas of Buslaev (2014), Zelinsky (2019), Danilevsky (2013). Based on the study of the works of these researchers, approaches to the study of culture in its historical dynamics are revealed. The paper presents the reception of their ideas in the context of modern transdisciplinary methodology.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the work is to study the heritage of Buslaev (2015), Zelinsky (2019), Danilevsky (2013) in the context of its importance for the formation of modern transdisciplinary methodology and the study of local cultures.

Research Methods

The paper uses traditional methods of Humanities: historical-genetic, historical-anthropological, system-structural, typology, comparative, comparative-diachronic, problem-chronological, etc.

Let us note that the methodological basis of the research made the scientific approaches of the representatives of the civilizational approach (A. Toynbee, N.Y. Danilevsky, O. Spengler) defines civilization as a distinct, unique community of people with specificity in all areas of life. We emphasize the important significance of approaches of supporters of inter and transdisciplinarity in science: V.A. Bazhanov, V.G. Budanov, L.P. Kiyashenko, A.P. Ogurtsov, V.N. Porus, R.W. Scholz and others (as cited in Bazhanov & Scholz, 2015).


An important task for the Humanities, including history, is scientific approaches that allow studying culture as a self-developing system. Historical science at the turn of the XX-XXI centuries is developing in the direction of strengthening interdisciplinary principles. We believe that the formation of a new methodology for the study of culture should be based on the understanding that culture is a universe covering all spheres of human existence. Culture is a matrix of being, a certain semiosphere (Lotman, 2002), a system of interacting elements – archetypes (Jung, 2001), signs (language, concepts, architecture, etc.) and images (ideology, public and private aspirations, attitudes, etc.). Understanding of such complex phenomenon requires methods of various Sciences, which will be aimed at studying how and to what extent each component of cultural life has an impact on the modern researcher of the phenomenon of social life.

In the XX century Braudel (2013) attempted connection of Sciences for the implementation of the meta studies of diverse societies. However, the mechanical connection led to failure. According to him, history should occupy the main place in the united humanitarian integration in the future. We agree with Braudel (2013), because we believe that the history allows us to understand the dynamics of the culture, to compare the past with the present and to identify the constant factors of the culture development. However, only the mechanical connection of Sciences is not enough to understand the specifics of a particular culture, since the researcher in such a methodological setting is limited to one science and can not go beyond its scientific paradigm.

The development of science of the XXI century takes place in the direction of transdiciplinarity. The essence of this methodology is that the scientist is a universal, not limited to any one scientific paradigm. The research task is determined by the social situation and current social demands. Historicism is understood in such a paradigm not as a period limited by certain chronological frameworks, but as a continuous process of development of the cultural universe. In the XIX century, with the advent of the civilizational approach, there are important changes in the understanding of the specifics of the development of local cultures. We believe that the fundamental approach of the representatives of the civilizational approach, supplemented by a new understanding of culture as a synergetic system within the framework of transdisciplinary methodology, opens up unlimited horizons for new discoveries before the humanitarian Sciences, and history in particular. It is noteworthy that in the XIX century, scientists made attempts to study local cultures from the point of view of transdisciplinary bases. Such researchers were: F.I. Buslaev, F.F. Zelinsky, N.Y. Danilevsky.

The revival of interest in the previously unclaimed ideological and theoretical potential of this scientists begins at the turn of XX–XXI centuries.

In our opinion, the names of F.I. Buslaev, F.F. Zelinsky you can safely associate with the onset in the "new" historical science stage of overcoming sociologizing schemes for the study of objective structures and the transpersonal processes and the revival of the view of society as an integral organism, in which the behavioral reactions of the people explains by the state of human consciousness, collective mentalities, axiological systems. The intention is to give an anthropological dimension to social and cultural history, which strongly dictates the creation of interdisciplinary synthesis and integration of the research potential of human and social Sciences, in our opinion, for the first time was planned and partly carried out by Buslaev (2015), Zelinsky (2019), Danilevsky (2013). They also owned a sketch of the extensive scientific program, which is now articulated as a study of the fundamental problem of "Man in society, history and culture."

Buslaev (2015) began to study the content of the consciousness of the people of the past epochs, the psychological attitudes of collective creativity, the traditions and values, the symbolic creations of primitive and ancient societies. Interested as a scientist in the unconscious underlying sustainable elements of the psyche and socio-cultural beliefs of the people which drove the intellectual and social processes, behavioral habits, close brought him to understand the essence of inherent, but hidden from the historian of the culture the controllers of the mass consciousness of people of ancient eras (Novikov & Perfilova, 2016).

Knowledge of "general laws of development of the human spirit, which is in its infancy everywhere and always expressed the same phenomena," gave Buslaev (2014) a base to use to describe the hidden mechanisms of world perception of the person of antiquity the semantic space of the word. Believing that the word is a complete identity of thought and thought – an analogue of the mental regulators of the human spirit, Buslaev (2014) extrapolated the problems of psychology of the collective personality in the plane of linguistic phenomena. The specificity of the archaic consciousness, which did not distinguish the object and its symbolic form, was interpreted by him in the usual way of theoretical linguistics: a variety of brain functions and complex mental reactions of a person were identified with the creative potentials of language and interpreted in the plane of language worldview (Buslaev, 2014).

For Buslaev (2015), it was obvious that the myth as the "initial manifestation of the consciousness of the people" could not be separated from the language of its creators, which was the true "treasure of the original views of man on himself and on nature." Both language and myth were determined by the impersonal spirit of the people, created "by the whole mass of the people", were its "common heritage", which did not allow the arbitrariness of the individual, subjective, biased. Therefore, it is impossible to separate the language from the "mythical tradition" or not to notice the indistinguishability of "linguistic and mythological thinking" (Buslaev, 2015).

The law of relevance of language processes and people's beliefs, discovered by german science and confirmed by Buslaev (2015), allowed him to come close to understanding the deep layers of human consciousness, in particular, to identify the causes of mythological thinking and its emanation, such as the myth.

The need to create not narrowly specialized works, but works that can reveal the whole horizon of the researcher, Zelinsky (2019) as a man, "who has grown up in the ancient world", realized in the process of long-term comprehension of the science of the classical world: relating the history of antiquity to "the encyclopedic subject", to "the science of the world", he skillfully combined his philological talent, excellent knowledge of Greek and Latin languages with ethnography, natural Sciences, psychology, political and social Sciences. The desire to create universal coverage of research problems was also supported by the worldview thoroughness of creativity of Zelinsky (2019), who, having absorbed the "spirit" of the discoveries of the Sciences of his time, was ready to perceive the whole system of the world picture.

The interest in the study of the "spiritual appearance" of the inhabitants of the Greek-Roman civilization was not a fashionable hobby of Zelinsky (2019), but a reorientation of the Sciences, which studied the individual and the society, to consider the soul of the individual and the spiritual life of the human community. In psychology, which, according to the scientist, became the basis of "all Humanities", the soul became the subject of careful scientific research. Plunging into the phenomena of consciousness and subconscious, psychologists have tried to recognize the "spiritual character" as a single person and the whole nation. The conclusions of the "science of human consciousness" could not but attract the attention of historians who are ready to comprehend the meanings of the works of great cultural figures through the consideration of ideas and images that expressed the mood and "spirit" of their era. The identification of psychological characteristics of large social groups attracted encouraging confidence of penetration into their mental characteristics and features of "national character" (Yarho, 2015).

Having chosen his "piece of scientific territory" – the study of the manifestations of the "people's soul" in the religion, mythology, literature, – Zelinsky (2019) also made an attempt to understand the ideas, values, ideals, which determined the moral and aesthetic needs of the cultural and historical movement of man as an organic part of the complex living organism, the collective whole. Zelinsky (2019) came so close to discursive psychological practices that he no longer doubted that psychology is the link between the Sciences of physical nature and human consciousness, it gives a scientific character to research in the field of creativity and leads to the recognition of the character of the "people's soul" of man of antiquity.

The interest in the unconscious sphere of the worldview of a man of the classical world, even more so, was driven by the need to approach Zelinsky (2019) the psychology and, which was fascinated by the intuitive, contemplative and "sensitive" forms of people's reflections at the beginning of the XX century. However, the effectiveness of the application of the methods of "understanding" of the past and "feeling" of the past is inevitable bumped into an obstacle in the form of a loss of "ontological status" of the past, and this, in turn, forced the Zelinsky (2019), as well as his colleagues, to undertake the searches of adequate ways of study of "people's soul" by means of a support on "authority of the present" in which theoretical and methodological continuum naturally-scientific, positivist and idealistic approaches intricately intertwined.

The heritage of Danilevsky (2013) requires a detailed study and analysis from the standpoint of methodological developments in the field of cultural transformation and understanding of civilizational specifics. The analysis of the author's logic of interpretation of empirical facts of modernity in connection with historical facts allows determining the vector of further scientific research in the field of determining the specifics of Russian civilization, which in turn is the mechanism of the embodiment of Russian culture.

In his famous work "Russia and Europe" Danilevsky (2013) reveals the features of cultural-historical types. Russia, in his opinion is the Slavic cultural-historical type. Danilevsky (2013) identifies and analyzes such civilizational features of Russia: the mobilization type of society organization ready to respond to external "challenges"; the special sacral role of the government – the defender of the people, in which the people find their unity; the priority of state / collective interests over personal; the unifying nature of the people; the lack of expansionist aspirations; religious consciousness; faintness of revolutionary psychology. Danilevsky (2013) notes that the basis of cultural-historical types is a religion that defines people's minds. Let us note that the scientist conducts his analysis in the context of comparative studies, comparing different historical periods with the modern era for him. He studies the identity of culture as a system with its own internal laws (Eremin, 2017).


In the XXI century the study of local cultures becomes the most important task for the Humanities. Understanding of the specifics of modern civilizational processes in the context of globalization is impossible without the study of unique cultural systems. In this regard, it is important to appeal to the heritage of scientists who have proposed original approaches to the study of local cultures. The reception of the ideas of F.I. Buslaev, F.F. Zelinsky, N.Y. Danilevsky makes a great contribution to the formation of the modern transdisciplinary methodology of research of culture.


We are grateful to the Ministry of Science and High Education of the Russian Federation for funding the publication of this article as part of project 33.7591.2017/8.9 "Study of theoretical and methodological foundations of historical science in Russia in XIX - early XX century".


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Novikov*, M., & Eremin, A. (2019). Study Of Local Cultures In The Context Of Globalization. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2491-2497). Future Academy.