But, probably, one of the most noteworthy insights we gain from Levi-Strauss' structuralism
, which derives from his conclusions about the workings of the so-called primitive mind, is encapsulated in the following statement which I am compelled to quote at length.
Ward (1997:92,100) explains that Structuralism
sees language as a closed system and tries to fix individual texts to rigid linguistic frameworks whereby underlying meaning is exposed.
In eight pages we are reminded of the "grammar of tragedy" (59) discussed earlier; acquainted with some consequences of reading Hamlet in structuralist terms as being "precisely about the breakdown of stable meaning" (60); asked to consider how Hamlet pushes structuralism
to its limits; and given a glimpse of Sidney's Defence of Poetry, with ideas about Lear to boot.
I will try to show that Structuralism
should be reappraised and presented in a more global context uniting various discourses, from anthropology to semiotics, philosophy, psychoanalysis, linguistics, history, that all come under the heading of the "human sciences"--in fact, the whole spectrum of what Giambattista Vico had in mind when he spoke of a "New Science" defined as the science of man's arts in contradistinction with Cartesian truths and certainties.
Further, the structuralism
and value of la longue duree espoused in the introduction are not particularly profitable here: diachronic variations between centralization and fragmentation of a state's power are not enlightening.
This set of features is what unites structuralism
in the postwar period and neoliberalism in the 1980s, and hence their respective ascendance in Latin America.
One would expect structuralism
to be antithetical to mathematical realism or Platonism--if mathematics is about structures, it's not about objects.
For example, structuralism
is able to explain why mathematicians are typically only interested in describing the objects they study up to isomorphism - for that is all that there is to describe.
was based on the search for deep, underlying similarities in cultural phenomena, including myth, art, and literature.
There, they quickly joined the ranks of the city's underground filmmakers and became key players in a movement later to be known as Structuralism
For Kirk Combe, the co-editor, the question of theory is virtually thrown out of the window by the absence of any binding definition of satire; but to be sceptical of 'theory' (by which he seems to mean structuralism
, of which most people are sceptical now anyway) on the grounds of satire's 'messy, earthy whatness' (74) is merely to apply, as many have before, the Johnsonian boot to the Berkeleyan stone.
Review essay on Fredric Jameson, The Prison-House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism
and Russian Formalism (1972), and Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969), trans.
Jay's treatment of structuralism
is a case in point.
Later, largely through the work of the structuralist linguist Roman Jakobson, it became highly influential in the West, notably in Anglo-American New Criticism, which is sometimes called formalism, and in structuralism
He is himself highly selective (some might say |inconsistent') in his use of social anthropology, appealing to both the functionalism of Edmund Leach and the structuralism
of Levi-Strauss where it suits his argument.