It is analysed the civil society concept suggested in the theoretical framework of J.Alexander’s cultural sociology and value analysis. A new methodological approach to the civil sphere is discussed. Civil society is represented through the structural set of symbolic codes and binary discourses, including discursive structure of actors, social relationship, and social institutions. The issues of the civil society institutionalization as a tension between the ideal and real civil societies are concerned. The abovemen tioned theoretical approach and the data of empirical sociological surveys are applied to the analysis of institutionalization of civil society in postcommunist countries, particularly in Ukraine.