Anthropologie Structurale [C Levi-Strauss] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This reissue of a classic will reintroduce readers to Lévi-Strauss’s understanding of man and society in terms of individuals—kinship, social organization, religion. Get this from a library! Anthropologie structurale.. [Claude Lévi-Strauss].

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Hegel explains that every situation presents two opposing things and their resolution; Fichte had termed these ” thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. He showed, for example, how opposing ideas would fight and were resolved to establish the rules of marriagemythology and ritual. This approach, he felt, made for fresh new ideas.

Only those who practice structural analysis are aware of what they are actually trying to do: In South America he strcuturale that there are “dual organizations” throughout Amazon rainforest cultures, and that these “dual organizations” represent opposites and their synthesis.

Culture, he claimed, has to take into account both life and death and needs to have a anthopologie of mediating between the two. Mythology see his several-volume Mythologies unites opposites in diverse ways. Saussure argued that linguists needed to move beyond the recording of parole individual speech acts and come to an understanding of languethe grammar of each language.

Just as speakers can talk without awareness of grammar, he argued, humans are unaware of the workings of social structures in daily life. The structures that form the “deep grammar” of society originate in the mind and operate unconsciously albeit not in a Freudian sense. Another concept was borrowed from the Prague school of linguisticswhich employed so-called binary oppositions in their research. Roman Jakobson and others analysed sounds based on the presence or absence of certain features, such as “voiceless” vs.

Anthropologie structurale – Claude Lévi-Strauss – Google Books

For him, opposites formed the basis ajthropologie social structure and culture. For example, in the Lev basin, two extended families would build their houses in two facing semicircles that together form a big circle. He showed too that the ways people initially categorized animals, treesand other natural features, were based on a series of oppositions. In his most popular work, The Raw and the Cookedhe described folk tales of tribal South America as related to one another through a series of transformations—as one opposite in tales here changed into its opposite in tales there.

For example, as the title implies, raw becomes its opposite cooked.

Levi Strauss Anthropologie Structurale, 1958

Social structures mirror cognitive structures, meaning that patterns in social interaction can be treated as their manifestations. While structural-functionalists looked for structures within social organisation, structuralism seeks to identify links between structures of thought and social structures. Possibly the most significant influence on structuralism came from Mauss’ The Gift. Mauss argued that gifts are not free, but rather oblige the recipient to reciprocate.

Through the gift, the givers give part of themselves, imbuing the gift a certain power that compels a response. Gift exchanges, therefore play a crucial role in creating and maintaining social relationships by establishing bonds of obligations. Gifts are not merely physical, incidental objects; they possess cultural and spiritual properties. It is a “total prestation” as Mauss called it, as it carries the power to create a system of reciprocity in which the honour of both giver and recipient are engaged.

Social relationships are therefore based on exchange; Durkheimian solidarity, according to Mauss, is best achieved through structures of reciprocity and related systems of exchange. Structures are universal; their realization is culturally specific. Over time, marriage rules create social structures because marriages are primarily forged between groups and not just between spouses.

He deemed this the beginning and essence of culture, as it was the first prohibition to check natural impulses; secondarily, it divides labor by gender. Prescribing exogamy creates a distinction between marriageable and tabooed women that necessitates a search for women outside one’s own kin group “marry out or die out” and fosters exchange relationships with other groups. Exogamy promotes inter-group alliances and forms structures of social networks. Accordingly, he grouped all possible kinship systems into a scheme containing three basic kinship structures constructed out of two types of exchange.


He called the three struturale structures elementary, semi-complex and complex. Elementary structures are based on positive marriage rules that specify whom a person must marry, while complex systems specify negative marriage rules whom one must not marrythus leaving room for choice based on preference.

Elementary structures can operate based on two forms of exchange: Continued restricted exchange means that the two lineages marry together. Restricted exchange structures are generally quite uncommon. The second form of exchange within lebi structures is called generalised exchange, meaning that a man can only marry either his MBD matrilateral cross-cousin marriage or his FZD patrilateral cross-cousin marriage.

This involves an asymmetric exchange between struucturale least three groups. Matrilateral cross-cousin marriage arrangements structurake the marriage sttructurale the parents is repeated by successive generations are very common in parts of Asia e. These tribal societies are made up of multiple moieties that often split up, rendering them comparatively unstable.

Generalised exchange is more integrative but contains an implicit hierarchy, as e. Consequently, the last wife-taking group in the chain is significantly inferior to the first wife-giving group to which it is supposed to give its wives. These status inequalities can destabilise the entire system or can at least lead to an accumulation of wives and in the case of the Kachin, also of bridewealth at one end of the chain.

From a structural perspective matrilateral cross-cousin marriage is superior to its patrilateral counterpart; the latter has less potential to produce srructurale cohesion since its exchange cycles are shorter the direction of wife exchange is reversed in each successive generation. However, matrilateral generalised exchange poses a risk as group A depends on receiving a woman from a group that it has not itself given a woman syructurale, producing a less immediate obligation to reciprocate compared to a restricted exchange system.

The risk created by such a delayed return is obviously lowest in restricted exchange systems. Semi-complex structures contain so many negative marriage rules that they effectively prescribe marriage to specific parties, thus somewhat resembling elementary structures.

This “mother’s brother” from the perspective of the wife-seeking son plays a crucial role in alliance theory, as he is the stucturale who ultimately decides whom his daughter will marry. Moreover, it is not just the nuclear family as such, but alliances lei families that matter in regard to the creation of social structures, reflecting the typical structuralist argument that the position of an element in the structure is more significant than the element itself.

Descent theory and alliance theory therefore look at two sides of one coin: Much earlier, and some sgructurale north of Paris, a specific type of applied anthropology emerged at Leiden UniversityNetherlands that focused frequently on the relationship between apparent cultural phenomena found in legi Indonesian archipelago: BatakMinangkabauMoluccasetc.

This type of anthropology, developed by late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century scholars, was eventually called “de Leidse Richting,” or “de Leidse School,”. Multiple researchers were educated in lebi school. This theory attracted students and researchers interested in a holistic approach, that was broad and deep, that related economic circumstances with mythological and spatial classifications and that explored the relationship between the natural world and religious, symbolic systems.

This was long before structuralism. The “Leiden” perspective drove research for many decades, influencing successive generations of anthropologists. The most recent chairs were held by J. Leach was more concerned with researching people’s actual lives than with the discovery of universal mental structures.


He found that the latter’s analysis of the Kachin contained serious flaws.

Structural anthropology – Wikipedia

While part of his analysis of the Kachin was simply based on incorrect ethnographic information, the rest reflected Kachin ideology but not actual practice. In theory, Levl groups were supposed to marry in a circle ideally consisting of five groups.

In abthropologie, the system was strongly unbalanced with built-in status differences between wife-givers and wife-takers. Overall, some lineages would accumulate more wives and material wealth than others, meaning that the system was not driven primarily by reciprocity. The marriage system was quite messy and the chance of it breaking down increased with the number of groups involved. He thought that in practice there would be competition for women, leading to accumulation and therefore asymmetries in the system.

According to Leach, in Kachin reality instabilities arose primarily from competition for bridewealth. Men sought to get the maximum profit in forms of either bridewealth or political advantage from their daughters’ marriage. Leach argued that they are also or even primarily economic and political transactions and are frequently connected to transfers of rights over land, too. Leach charged the latter with neglecting the effects of material conditions on social relations.

With the advent of postmoderninterpretive- hermeneutic thought, structuralist and functionalist theories went receded. Internal incoherence and a range of intrinsic limitations further reduced its appeal.

By overstressing the structural significance of affinal ties, alliance theory effectively neglected the importance of descent and genealogical ties. African tribal societies employ descent as their primary organizational principle. In others, alliances are of primary significance, as in e. The Yanomami fit very well into the alliance theory mold, while the Tallensi or Azande do not. His model explained practices that were not observed.

Kuper allowed that exchange was the universal form of marriage, but there could be other significant factors. And even if reciprocity was the primary principle that underlies marriages, the return would not have to be in kind but could take other forms such abthropologie money, livestock, services or favours of various kinds.

Also, social cohesion through reciprocity does not have to rest primarily on the bride exchange. Mauss showed that different cultures use all kinds of gifts to create and maintain alliances. Others, for example Godelier, critiqued structuralism’s synchronic approach that led it to be essentially ahistorical. Marxists shifted the attention within anthropology from an almost exclusive preoccupation with kinship to an emphasis on economic lvei.

For them, social structures were primarily shaped by material conditions, property relations and class struggles. Structuralism’s main propositions were not formulated in a way so that they could be subject to verification or falsification.

Boyer pointed out that experimental research on concepts in psychology have not supported a structuralistic view of concepts, but rather a theory-oriented or prototype-based view. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it sfructurale discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article possibly contains original research.

Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be structuraoe. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

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