Olena Popovych


The link between the mechanisms of compensation and culture has been intensely investigated in humanities, which study life (life-asserting factor) and in psychoanalysis (factor of self-perfection). However, this phenomenon is still being segmented in different scientific discourses and its reception in cultural studies is to give a possibility if not to acknowledge it, then at least to draw near the comprehensive vision, as modern vision of culture is understanding of its integrity, based upon the wide inter-discipline approach to its study.

That’s why integration of the notion of compensation into the cultural discourse promotes humanization of the cultural practices, which are the basis of individual’s self-perfection and self-development. The compensation mechanisms are formed within the objects, which interact and possess back reaction for the system they appeared. The direction of their development may change under some conditions. Direct compensation may be turned into overcompensation or de-compensation. The meaning of the notion of compensation includes the signs (characteristic features) of a person and the signs (characteristic features) of the entire culture. The compensation processes occuring in culture on the one hand allow to reach the state of equilibrium of the socium as a dynamic system and on the other hand they allow to reach the level of individual’s personal integrity, it being possible under certain conditions. Compensation in a wider sense and compensation as substitute of personal integrity are dialectically interrelated processes.

The concept of "compensation" is widely used in biology, medicine, psychology, remedial pedagogy, sociology, political sciences, literature and etc. However, in reproduction mechanism of the functioning of society and culture in it, the scientific concept of compensation has considerable heuristic potential, which has not been fully used yet. The com parative analysis of compensation concepts in psychology, psychoanalysis, sciences of culture shows that compensation is a "core" of the whole person concept, and the idea of compensation is given the dominant role.

The feeling or awareness of little value arises due to the individual defect enables him to evaluate his life position feature that is the main driving force of mental development. The way to perfection is led through overcoming obstacles; the complications function is an incentive to improve it. Scientists see a kind of compensation reserve in the functioning of the human senses, burdened with disabilities. This understanding of the psycho-cultural category is quite common in the research literature. However, it has not established full and comprehensive compensation theory, but in a number of separate spheres of organic life, these phenomena are studied so much that we can rightfully speak about the compensation as an established fact in human life. Analysis of conceptual-categorical apparatus of the concept shows that the integration of the concept of compensation cultural discourse promotes the humanization of social and cultural practices that are the basis of self-improvement and self-development of the individual.

Psychoanalytic interpretation of the functions of culture includes two aspects. The first aspect covers all knowledge and skills of people to master the forces of nature and get any material goods to satisfy vital needs. The second one consists of the required settings of the order of interpersonal relationships, primarily related to the allocation of functions domination. The founder of psychoanalysis Z.Freyd opens a phenomenon of interdependence desires and coercion that leads to action repressive mechanisms of culture. In his opinion, the basis of society is the satisfaction of the primary needs of the individual, on these grounds there is objective values of interpersonal relationships where desires become symbolic elements of materialized and exchange.

Z. Freud stresses, every individual is a priori hostile to culture, since the latter makes the offering of human victims in the form of forced labor and denial of the primitive instincts of incest, cannibalism and a desire to murder. The objection of the primitive impulses shows that the development of the human psyche goes toward transition into external coercion and its integration into the structure of "superego." The implementation of the process turns people into followers of the media culture.

The meaning of "compensation" includes the features of the person and the characteristics of the culture. Compensation in the cultural processes allows us, on the one hand, to achieve equilibrium of society as a dynamic system, on the other hand to reach specific conditions on the possible level of personal integrity of the individual.


compensation; overcompensation; de-compensation; adaptation; cultural creativity; individual’s selfdevelopment; culture