On the demarcation of mythological messages in the communicative space of contemporary culture: An interdisciplinary approach


The article considers myth as an element of social communication reproduced in both archaic and modern times. The author seeks criteria for identifying mythological messages in the general corpus of connotative messages. The empirical ‘field’ of the search is the mass media. The author follows the interdisciplinary research principles and presents a combination of various approaches to the study of myth. In the contemporary culture, myth remains one of the most relevant ways for constructing meaning. In both modern and archaic myths, there is a single type of thinking, the logic of which is not limited to the “logic of emotions” or scientific normativity. The author distinguishes normal and ‘transformed’ myths, and argues that the demarcation of the mythological is needed exclusively for ‘transformed’ myths. In other cases, despite its obvious ubiquity, myth remains a by-product of communications, does not distort their main content and does not ‘parasitize’ on their form. The article draws an analogy between how mythological thinking functions in the archaic and the methods for forming mythological content in the contemporary mass media. The author comes to the conclusion that the initial functional orientation of the mass media is distorted in mythological messages: in the ‘transformed’ media (media + myth), the function of informing is replaced by the functions of motivation. The mass media code ‘information/not information’ is distorted, values are presented as systems of facts, and the image of reality as reality itself. The demarcation of mythological messages can be achieved by identifying the distortion of the content and functions of the original form of culture. Such a transformation is a necessary but insufficient criterion for identifying mythological messages in the communicative space of contemporary culture.

About the authors

O. N. Strelnik

RUDN University

Author for correspondence.
Email: strelnik-on@rudn.ru

кандидат философских наук, доцент кафедры онтологии и теории познания

Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6, Moscow, Russia, 117198


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