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Encyclopedia > Structuralism

Structuralism as a term refers to various theories across the humanities, social sciences and economics many of which share the assumption that structural relationships between concepts vary between different cultures/languages and that these relationships can be usefully exposed and explored. The humanities are those academic disciplines which study the human condition using methods that are largely analytic, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural and social sciences. ... The social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that study human aspects of the world. ... ‹ The template below is being considered for deletion. ...


More accurately it could be described as an approach in academic disciplines in general that explores the relationships between fundamental principal elements in language, literature, and other fields upon which some higher mental, linguistic, social, or cultural "structures" and "structural networks" are built. Through these networks meaning is produced within a particular person, system, or culture. This meaning then frames and motivates the actions of individuals and groups. In its most recent manifestation, structuralism as a field of academic interest began around 1958 and peaked in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This is a list of academic disciplines (and academic fields). ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ...

Contents

History

Structuralism appeared in academia for the first time in the 19th century and then reappeared in the second half of the 20th century, when it grew to become one of the most popular approaches in academic fields concerned with the analysis of language, culture, and society. The work of Ferdinand de Saussure concerning linguistics is generally considered to be a starting point of 20th century structuralism. The term "structuralism" itself appeared in the works of French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, and gave rise, in France, to the "structuralist movement," which spurred the work of such thinkers as Michel Foucault, Louis Althusser, the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, as well as the structural Marxism of Nicos Poulantzas. Almost all members of this so-called movement denied that they were part of it. Structuralism is closely related to semiotics. Post-structuralism attempted to distinguish itself from the use of the structural method. Deconstruction was an attempt to break with structuralistic thought. Some intellectuals like Julia Kristeva, for example, took structuralism (and Russian formalism) for a starting point to later become prominent post-structuralists. Structuralism has had varying degrees of influence in the social sciences: a great deal in the field of sociology, but hardly any in economics. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (pronounced ) (November 26, 1857 – February 22, 1913) was a Geneva-born Swiss linguist whose ideas laid the foundation for many of the significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which can be theoretical or applied. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... See Anthropology. ... This article is about the anthropologist. ... Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher and historian. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuË¡seʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ... Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan (French IPA: ) (April 13, 1901 – September 9, 1981) was a French psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and doctor. ... Structural Marxism was an approach to Marxist philosophy based on structuralism, primarily associated with the work of the French philosopher Louis Althusser and his students. ... Nicos Poulantzas (1936-1979) was a Greco-French Marxist political sociologist. ... Semiotics, semiotic studies, or semiology is the study of signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... Deconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves. ... Julia Kristeva (Bulgarian: ) (born 24 June 1941) is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, psychoanalyst, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. ... // Introduction The distinctive feature of Russian Formalism is the emphasis on the functional role of literary devices and the original conception of the evolution of literary history. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... ‹ The template below is being considered for deletion. ...


Structuralism in psychology (19th century)

At the turn of the 19th century the founding father of experimental psychology William Wundt tried to confirm experimentally his hypothesis that conscious mental life can be broken down into fundamental elements, which then form more complex mental structures. In this part of the 19th century, researchers were making great advances in chemistry and physics by analysing complex compounds (molecules) in terms of their elements (atoms). These successes encouraged psychologists to look for the mental elements of which more complex experiences were composed. If the chemist made headway by analysing water into oxygen and hydrogen, perhaps the psychologist could make headway by considering a perception, e.g., the taste of lemonade, to be a "molecule" of conscious experience which can be analysed into elements of conscious experience: e.g., sweet, sour, cold, warm, bitter, and whatever else could be identified by trained introspection. A major believer was the psychologist Edward B. Titchener who was trained by Wundt and worked at Cornell University. Since the goal was to specify mental structures, Titchener used the word "structuralism" to describe this branch of psychology.[1] Titchener's structuralism was quickly abandoned because its objects, conscious experiences, are not easily subjected to controlled experimentation in the same way that behavior is. Note that although early texts list Wundt as a structuralist, strictly speaking he was not. The term was coined by Titchener, and Titchener methods and conclusions were not the same as Wundt's. Both functional psychology and behaviorism were reactions to introspective structuralism. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Experimental psychology is an approach to psychology that treats it as one of the natural sciences, and therefore assumes that it is susceptible to the experimental method. ... Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (August 16, 1832-August 31, 1920) was a German psychologist, physiologist, and professor who is, along with William James, regarded as the father of psychology. ... This article is about the psychological process of introspecting. ... Edward Bradford Titchener (1876-1927) was an Englishman and a student of Wilhelm Wundt before becoming a professor of psychology and founding the first psychology laboratory in the United States at Cornell University. ... Look up functionalism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Behaviorism (also called learning perspective) is a philosophy of psychology based on the proposition that all things which organisms do — including acting, thinking and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors. ...


Structuralism in linguistics

Ferdinand de Saussure was the originator of the 20th century reappearance of structuralism, and evidence of this can be found in Course in General Linguistics, written by Saussure's colleagues after his death and based on student notes, where he focused not on the use of language (parole, or speech), but rather on the underlying system of language (langue) and called his theory semiology. However, the discovery of the underlying system had to be done via examination of the parole (speech). As such, Structural Linguistics are actually an early form of corpus linguistics(quantification). This approach focused on examining how the elements of language related to each other in the present, that is, 'synchronically' rather than 'diachronically'. Finally, he argued that linguistic signs were composed of two parts, a signifier (the sound pattern of a word, either in mental projection - as when we silently recite lines from a poem to ourselves - or in actual, physical realization as part of a speech act) and a signified (the concept or meaning of the word). This was quite different from previous approaches which focused on the relationship between words and things in the world that they designate. Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (pronounced ) (November 26, 1857 – February 22, 1913) was a Geneva-born Swiss linguist whose ideas laid the foundation for many of the significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... For other uses, see System (disambiguation). ... Semiotics (also spelled Semeiotics) is the study of signs and sign systems. ... Corpus linguistics is the study of language as expressed in samples (corpora) or real world text. ... In general linguistics Ferdinand de Saussure described a sign as a combination of a concept and a sound-image. ... The speech act is a concept in linguistics and the philosophy of language. ...


Key notions in Structural Linguistics are the notions of paradigm, syntagm and value, though these notions were not yet fully developed in De Saussure's thought. A structural paradigm is actually a class of linguistic units (lexemes, morphemes or even constructions) which are possible in a certain position in a given linguistic environment (like a given sentence), which is the syntagm. The different functional role of each of these members of the paradigm is called value (valeur in French). For other uses, see Paradigm (disambiguation). ... Definition A lexeme is a unit of linguistic analysis. ... In Linguistics, a morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in a given language. ... A pattern language is a special form of textual documentation, used to document successful solutions to typical challenges in a design process. ...


Saussure's Course influenced many linguists between World War I and WWII. In America, for instance, Leonard Bloomfield developed his own version of structural linguistics, as did Louis Hjelmslev in Denmark and Alf Sommerfelt in Norway. In France Antoine Meillet and Émile Benveniste would continue Saussure's program. Most importantly, however, members of the Prague School of linguistics such as Roman Jakobson and Nikolai Trubetzkoy conducted research that would be greatly influential. Ferdinand de Saussures Cours de linguistique générale was published posthumously in 1916 by Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye based on lecture notes. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Leonard Bloomfield (April 1, 1887 - April 18, 1949) was an American linguist, whose influence dominated the development of structural linguistics in America between the 1930s and the 1950s. ... Louis Hjelmslev (October 3, 1899 - May 30, 1965) was a Danish linguist whose ideas formed the basis of the Danish School in linguistics. ... Alf Sommerfelt (1892-1965), was a Norwegian linguist and the first professor of linguistics in Norway, working at the University of Oslo from 1931 to 1962. ... Antoine Meillet (Paul-Jules-Antoine Meillet, November 11, 1866 - September 21, 1936), was one of the most important French linguists of the early 20th century. ... Emile Benveniste (1902 - 1976) was a French linguist best known for his work on Indo-European languages and his work expanding the linguistic paradigm established by Ferdinand de Saussure. ... The Prague Linguistic Circle founded as Cercle Linguistique de Prague (in Czech Pražský lingvistický kroužek) in Prague, became known around the world as the Prague School. ... Roman Osipovich Jakobson (October 11, 1896 - July 18, 1982) was a Russian thinker who became one of the most influential linguists of the 20th century by pioneering the development of structural analysis of language, poetry, and art. ... Prince Nikolai Sergeyevich Trubetzkoy (Cyrillic ; Moscow, April 15, 1890 - Vienna, June 25, 1938) was a Russian linguist whose teachings formed a nucleus of the Prague School of structural linguistics. ...


The clearest and most important example of Prague School structuralism lies in phonemics. Rather than simply compile a list of which sounds occur in a language, the Prague School sought to examine how they were related. They determined that the inventory of sounds in a language could be analyzed in terms of a series of contrasts. Thus in English the sounds /p/ and /b/ represent distinct phonemes because there are cases (minimal pairs) where the contrast between the two is the only difference between two distinct words (e.g. 'pat' and 'bat'). Analyzing sounds in terms of contrastive features also opens up comparative scope - it makes clear, for instance, that the difficulty Japanese speakers have differentiating /r/ and /l/ in English is because these sounds are not contrastive in Japanese. While this approach is now standard in linguistics, it was revolutionary at the time. Phonology would become the paradigmatic basis for structuralism in a number of different forms. The Prague Linguistic Circle founded as Cercle Linguistique de Prague (in Czech Pražský lingvistický kroužek) in Prague, became known around the world as the Prague School. ... Phonemics is the branch of linguistics which deals with the study of the phonemes of a language. ... In spoken language, a phoneme is a basic, theoretical unit of sound that can distinguish words (i. ... In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have a distinct meaning. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ...


Structuralism in anthropology and sociology

See the main articles at structural anthropology and structural functionalism Structural anthropology had its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. ... The article is about functionalism in sociology; for other uses, see functionalism. ...


According to structural theory in anthropology and social anthropology, meaning is produced and reproduced within a culture through various practices, phenomena and activities which serve as systems of signification. A structuralist studies activities as diverse as food preparation and serving rituals, religious rites, games, literary and non-literary texts, and other forms of entertainment to discover the deep structures by which meaning is produced and reproduced within a culture. For example, an early and prominent practitioner of structuralism, anthropologist and ethnographer Claude Lévi-Strauss in the 1950s, analyzed cultural phenomena including mythology, kinship (the Alliance theory and the incest taboo), and food preparation (see also structural anthropology). In addition to these studies, he produced more linguistically-focused writings where he applied Saussure's distinction between langue and parole in his search for the fundamental mental structures of the human mind, arguing that the structures that form the "deep grammar" of society originate in the mind and operate in us unconsciously. Levi-Strauss was inspired by information theory and mathematics. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ... This article is about the anthropologist. ... The Alliance Theory (or General Theory of Exchanges) is the name given to the structural method of studying kinship relations. ... The incest taboo refers to the prohibition, both formal and unstated, against incest in many societies. ... Structural anthropology had its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. ... Langue (French, meaning language) is a linguistic term used by Ferdinand de Saussure which describes language as a system of conventions and rules. ... It has been suggested that Medical parole be merged into this article or section. ... Not to be confused with information technology, information science, or informatics. ... Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ...


Another concept was borrowed from the Prague school of linguistics, where Roman Jakobson and others analysed sounds based on the presence or absence of certain features (such as voiceless vs. voiced). Levi-Strauss included this in his conceptualization of the universal structures of the mind, which he held to operate based on pairs of binary oppositions such as hot-cold, male-female, culture-nature, cooked-raw, or marriageable vs. tabooed women. A third influence came from Marcel Mauss, who had written on gift exchange systems. Based on Mauss, for instance, Lévi-Strauss argued that kinship systems are based on the exchange of women between groups (a position known as 'alliance theory') as opposed to the 'descent' based theory described by Edward Evans-Pritchard and Meyer Fortes. Roman Osipovich Jakobson (October 11, 1896 - July 18, 1982) was a Russian thinker who became one of the most influential linguists of the 20th century by pioneering the development of structural analysis of language, poetry, and art. ... Marcel Mauss (May 10, 1872 – February 10, 1950) was a French sociologist best known for his role in elaborating on and securing the legacy of his uncle Émile Durkheim and the Année Sociologique. ... Edward Evan (E.E.) Evans-Pritchard (September 21, 1902 - September 11, 1973) was a British anthropologist instrumental in the development of social anthropology in that country. ... South African-born anthropologist Meyer Fortes (1906-1983) is best known for his work among the Tallensi and Ashanti in Ghana. ...


While replacing Marcel Mauss at his Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes chair, Lévi-Strauss' writing became widely popular in the 1960s and 1970s and gave rise to the term "structuralism" itself. In Britain authors such as Rodney Needham and Edmund Leach were highly influenced by structuralism. Authors such as Maurice Godelier and Emmanuel Terray combined Marxism with structural anthropology in France. In the United States, authors such as Marshall Sahlins and James Boon built on structuralism to provide their own analysis of human society. Structural anthropology fell out of favour in the early 1980s for a number of reasons. D'Andrade (1995) suggests that structuralism in anthropology was eventually abandoned because it made unverifiable assumptions about the universal structures of the human mind. Authors such as Eric Wolf argued that political economy and colonialism should be more at the forefront of anthropology. More generally, criticisms of structuralism by Pierre Bourdieu led to a concern with how cultural and social structures were changed by human agency and practice, a trend which Sherry Ortner has referred to as 'practice theory'. The École Pratique des Hautes Études is a university in Paris, France. ... Sir Edmund Ronald Leach (November 7, 1910 – January 6, 1989) was a British anthropologist. ... Born in Cambrai, France in 1934, Maurice Godelier is one of the most influential names in French anthropology. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Marshall Sahlins (born 1930) is a prominent American anthropologist. ... Eric Wolf (1923-1999) was an anthropologist best known for his studies of Latin America and his advocacy of Marxist perspectives within anthropology. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political economy was the original term for the study of production, the acts of buying and selling, and their relationships to laws, customs and government. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ... Pierre Bourdieu (August 1, 1930 – January 23, 2002) was an acclaimed French sociologist whose work employed methods drawn from a wide range of disciplines: from philosophy and literary theory to sociology and anthropology. ... Sherry Beth Ortner (b. ...


Some anthropological theorists, however, while finding considerable fault with Lévi-Strauss's version of structuralism, did not turn away from a fundamental structural basis for human culture. The Biogenetic Structuralism group for instance argued that some kind of structural foundation for culture must exist because all humans inherit the same system of brain structures. They proposed a kind of Neuroanthropology which would lay the foundations for a more complete scientific account of cultural similarity and variation by requiring an integration of cultural anthropology and neuroscience--a program also embraced by such theorists as Victor Turner. Biogenetic structuralism is a body of theory in anthropology. ... Neuroanthropology is the study of culture and the brain. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... Victor Witter Turner (May 28, 1920 – December 18, 1983) was a Scottish anthropologist. ...


Structuralism in the philosophy of mathematics

Structuralism in mathematics is the study of what structures (mathematical objects) are, and how the ontology of these structures should be understood. This is a growing philosophy within mathematics that is not without its share of critics. This article is about ontology in philosophy. ...


Paul Benacerraf's paper "What Numbers Could Not Be" (1965) is of seminal importance to mathematical structuralism in a perverse way: it inspired critique upon which the movement was born. Benacerraf addressed a notion in mathematics to treat mathematical statements at face value, in which case we are committed to an abstract, eternal realm of mathematical objects. Benacerraf's dilemma is how we come to know these objects if we do not stand in causal relation to them. These objects are considered causally inert to the world. Another problem raised by Benacerraf is the multiple set theories that exist by which reduction of elementary number theory to sets is possible. Deciding which set theory is true has not been feasible. Benacerraf concluded in 1965 that numbers are not objects, a conclusion responded to by Mark Balaguer with the introduction of full blooded Platonism (this is essentially the view that all logically possible mathematical objects do exist). With this full blooded Platonism, it does not matter which set-theoretic construction of mathematics is used, nor how we came to know of its existence, since any consistent mathematical theory necessarily exists and is a part of the greater platonic realm. Paul Benacerraf is an American philosopher of mathematics who has been teaching at Princeton University since he joined the faculty in 1960. ...


The answer to Benacerraf's negative claims is how structuralism became a viable philosophical program within mathematics. The structuralist responds to these negative claims that the essence of mathematical objects is relations that the objects bear with the structure.


Important contributions to structuralism in mathematics have been made by Nicolas Bourbaki, and also by the genetic epistemologist, Jean Piaget who, in collaboration with the mathematician, E.W. Beth, developed the notion of "mother structures" from which all mathematical formations are considered transformations. Nicolas Bourbaki is the collective allonym under which a group of (mainly French) 20th-century mathematicians wrote a series of books presenting an exposition of modern advanced mathematics, beginning in 1935. ... Jean Piaget [] (August 9, 1896 – September 16, 1980) was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist and developmental psychologist, well known for his work studying children, his theory of cognitive development and for his epistemologic view called genetic epistemology. He created in 1955 the International Centre for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva and...


Structuralism in literary theory and literary criticism

In literary theory, structuralism is an approach to analyzing the narrative material by examining the underlying invariant structure. For example, a literary critic applying a structuralist literary theory might say that the authors of the West Side Story did not write anything "really" new, because their work has the same structure as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In both texts a girl and a boy fall in love (a "formula" with a symbolic operator between them would be "Boy + Girl") despite the fact that they belong to two groups that hate each other ("Boy's Group - Girl's Group" or "Opposing forces") and conflict is resolved by their death. Semiotic literary criticism, also called literary semiotics, is the approach to literary criticism informed by the theory of signs or semiotics. ... Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ... This article is about the musical. ... Romeo and Juliet in the famous balcony scene by Ford Madox Brown For other uses, see Romeo and Juliet (disambiguation). ...


The versatility of structuralism is such that a literary critic could make the same claim about a story of two friendly families ("Boy's Family + Girl's Family") that arrange a marriage between their children despite the fact that the children hate each other ("Boy - Girl") and then the children commit suicide to escape the arranged marriage; the justification is that the second story's structure is an 'inversion' of the first story's structure: the relationship between the values of love and the two pairs of parties involved have been reversed.


Structuralistic literary criticism argues that the "novelty value of a literary text" can lie only in new structure, rather than in the specifics of character development and voice in which that structure is expressed. One branch of literary structuralism, like Freudianism, Marxism, and transformational grammar, posits both a deep and a surface structure. In Freudianism and Marxism the deep structure is a story, in Freud's case the battle, ultimately, between the life and death instincts, and in Marx, the conflicts between classes that are rooted in the economic "base." Sigmund Freud His famous couch Sigmund Freud (May 6, 1856 - September 23, 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology, a movement that popularized the theory that unconscious motives control much behavior. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... In linguistics, a transformational grammar, or transformational-generative grammar (TGG), is a grammar, especially of a natural language, that has been developed in a Chomskian tradition. ...


Literary structuralism often follows the lead of Vladimir Propp and Claude Levi-Strauss in seeking out basic deep elements in stories and myths, which are combined in various ways to produce the many versions of the ur-story or ur-myth. As in Freud and Marx, but in contrast to transformational grammar, these basic elements are meaning-bearing. Vladimir Propp Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp (Russian: ; 29 April [O.S. 17 April] 1895 & mdash; 22 August 1970) was a Russian structuralist scholar who analysed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements. ... Claude L vi-Strauss (born November 28, 1908) is a French anthropologist who became one of the twentieth centurys greatest intellectuals by developing structuralism as a method of understanding human society and culture Biography Claude L vi-Strauss was born in Brussels and studied law and philosophy at the... The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... Ur- or ur- is an English prefix derivative of Old High German, that when combined with another noun usually retains the hyphen, and means original, primative or original version.[1] A well-known example is ur-Hamlet, used by literary scholars to denote an anonymously authored lost play of the...


There is considerable similarity between structural literary theory and Northrop Frye's archetypal criticism, which is also indebted to the anthropological study of myths. Some critics have also tried to apply the theory to individual works, but the effort to find unique structures in individual literary works runs counter to the structuralist program and has an affinity with New Criticism. Herman Northrop Frye, CC, MA, D.Litt. ...


The other branch of literary structuralism is semiotics, and it is based on the work of Ferdinand de Saussure. Semiotics, semiotic studies, or semiology is the study of signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. ... Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (pronounced ) (November 26, 1857 – February 22, 1913) was a Geneva-born Swiss linguist whose ideas laid the foundation for many of the significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. ...


Structuralism after World War II

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, existentialism like that propounded by Jean-Paul Sartre was the dominant mood. Structuralism surged to prominence in France after WWII and particularly in the 1960s. The initial popularity of structuralism in France led it to spread across the globe. The social sciences (in particular, sociology) were particularly influenced. Existentialism is a philosophical movement which claims that individual human beings create the meanings of their own lives. ... Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Structuralism rejected the concept of human freedom and choice and focused instead on the way that human behavior is determined by various structures. The most important initial work on this score was Claude Lévi-Strauss's 1949 volume Elementary Structures of Kinship. Lévi-Strauss had known Jakobson during their time together in New York during WWII and was influenced by both Jakobson's structuralism as well as the American anthropological tradition. In Elementary Structures he examined kinship systems from a structural point of view and demonstrated how apparently different social organizations were in fact different permutations of a few basic kinship structures. In the late 1950s he published Structural Anthropology, a collection of essays outlining his program for structuralism. This article is about the anthropologist. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Kinship is the most basic principle of organizing individuals into social groups, roles, and categories. ... Structural anthropology had its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. ...


By the early 1960s structuralism as a movement was coming into its own and some believed that it offered a single unified approach to human life that would embrace all disciplines. Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida focused on how structuralism could be applied to literature. Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) (pronounced ) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician. ... Jacques Derrida (IPA: [1]) (July 15, 1930 – October 8, 2004) was an Algerian-born French philosopher, known as the founder of deconstruction. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ...


Blending Freud and De Saussure, the French (post)structuralist Jacques Lacan applied structuralism to psychoanalysis and, in a different way, Jean Piaget applied structuralism to the study of psychology. Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan (French IPA: ) (April 13, 1901 – September 9, 1981) was a French psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and doctor. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ... Jean Piaget [] (August 9, 1896 – September 16, 1980) was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist and developmental psychologist, well known for his work studying children, his theory of cognitive development and for his epistemologic view called genetic epistemology. He created in 1955 the International Centre for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva and... Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, spirit, soul; λόγος, logos, knowledge) is both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ...


Michel Foucault's book The Order of Things examined the history of science to study how structures of epistemology, or episteme, shaped how people imagined knowledge and knowing (though Foucault would later explicitly deny affiliation with the structuralist movement). Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher and historian. ... Science is a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world, produced by a global community of researchers making use of a body of techniques known as scientific methods, emphasizing the observation, experimentation and scientific explanation of real world phenomena. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... As distinguished from techne, the Greek word episteme (literally: science) is often translated as knowledge. ...


In much the same way, American historian of science Thomas Kuhn addressed the structural formations of science in his seminal work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - its title alone evincing a stringent structuralist approach. Though less concerned with "episteme," Kuhn nonetheless remarked at how coteries of scientists operated under and applied a standard praxis of 'normal science,' deviating from a standard 'paradigm' only in instances of irreconcilable anomalies that question a significant body of their work. Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Blending Marx and structuralism another French theorist Louis Althusser introduced his own brand of structural social analysis, giving rise to "structural Marxism". Other authors in France and abroad have since extended structural analysis to practically every discipline. Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuˡseʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... Structural Marxism was an approach to Marxist philosophy based on structuralism, primarily associated with the work of the French philosopher Louis Althusser and his students. ...


The definition of 'structuralism' also shifted as a result of its popularity. As its popularity as a movement waxed and waned, some authors considered themselves 'structuralists' only to later eschew the label.


The term has slightly different meanings in French and English. In the US, for instance, Derrida is considered the paradigm of post-structuralism while in France he is labeled a structuralist. Finally, some authors wrote in several different styles. Barthes, for instance, wrote some books which are clearly structuralist and others which clearly are not. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Reactions to structuralism

Today structuralism is less popular than approaches such as post-structuralism and deconstruction. There are many reasons for this. Structuralism has often been criticized for being ahistorical and for favoring deterministic structural forces over the ability of individual people to act. As the political turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s (and particularly the student uprisings of May 1968) began affecting academia, issues of power and political struggle moved to the center of people's attention. The ethnologist Robert Jaulin defined another ethnological method which clearly pitted itself against structuralism. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Deconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves. ... A May 1968 poster: Be young and shut up, with stereotypical silhouette of General de Gaulle. ... Robert Jaulin (Le Cannet, 1928 - Grosrouvre, 1996) was a French ethnologist. ...


In the 1980s, deconstruction and its emphasis on the fundamental ambiguity of language--rather than its crystalline logical structure--became popular. By the end of the century structuralism was seen as a historically important school of thought, but it was the movements it spawned, rather than structuralism itself, which commanded attention. Deconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Atkinson, R.L. (1990). Introduction to Psychology, 10th Edition. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 

References

  • D'Andrade, R. 1995. The development of cognitive anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Beth, E.W., and Piaget, J. (1966) Mathematical Epistemology and Psychology. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.
  • Francois Dosse. History of Structuralism (two volumes). University of Minnesota Press, 1998.
  • Kuper, A. 1988. The Invention of Primitive Society: Transformations of an Illusion. London: Routledge.
  • Laughlin, Charles D. and Eugene G. d'Aquili (1974) Biogenetic Structuralism. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Leach, E. 1954. Political Systems of Highland Burma. London: Bell.
  • Leach, E. 1966. Rethinking Anthropology. Northampton: Dickens.
  • Levi-Strauss, C. 1969. The Elementary Structures of Kinship. London: Eyre and Spottis-woode.
  • Caws, P. 2000 Structuralism: A Philosophy for the Human Sciences New York: Humanity Books

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sociology before the Russian Revolution (2753 words)
The new current, Structuralism, continued the project of positivism to find an objective, rational and “scientific” methodology for analysing the data of perception, needing to account for the deep structural crises and transformative processes which were manifested in turn-of-the-century Europe, for which positivism was patently inadequate.
The other source of structural linguistics is N S Trubetzkoy, a Russian Nobleman who sought to unite transcendental philosophy and empiricist and rationalist science around a concept of a universal soul, with faith as a pre-condition of experience, not entirely dissimilar from Wundt’s psycho-physical parallelism.
Structural psychology begins from Wilhelm Wundt’s “experimental psychology”;: the mind was defined in terms of the simplest definable components and then to find the way in which these components fit together in complex forms using the tool of controlled introspection.
Structuralism and Post-structuralism (6831 words)
It became a standard assumption in narratology that the structure of a story was homologous with the structure of a sentence; this assumption allowed the apparatus of sentence-linguistics to be applied to the development of a metalanguage for describing narrative structure...
Structuralism, then, would appear to be a refuge for all immanent criticism against the danger of fragmentation that threatens thematic analysis: the means of reconstituting the unit of a work, its principle of coherence...
The 'total structure' which it identified as the enemy was an historically particular one: the armed, repressive state of late monopoly capitalism, and the Stalinist politics which pretended to confront it but were deeply complicit with its rule.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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