Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Structuralism

Category Culture, Philosophy
Essay type Research
Words 350 (1 page)
Views 175

Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. [1] Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism appeared in academia in the second half of the 20th century and grew to become one of the most popular approaches in academic fields concerned with the analysis of language, culture, and society.

The structuralist mode of reasoning has been applied in a diverse range of fields, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, literary criticism, and architecture. The most famous thinkers associated with structuralism include the linguist Roman Jakobson, the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the philosopher and historian Michel Foucault, the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser, and the literary critic Roland Barthes. 1] As an intellectual movement, structuralism came to take existentialism's pedestal in 1960s France. [2] Structuralism argues that a specific domain of culture may be understood by means of a structure—modelled on language—that is distinct both from the organisations of reality and those of ideas or the imagination—the "third order".

In Lacan's psychoanalytic theory, for example, the structural order of "the Symbolic" is distinguished both from "the Real" and "the Imaginary"; similarly, in Althusser's Marxist theory, the structural order of the capitalist mode of production is distinct both from the actual, real agents involved in its relations and from the ideological forms in which those relations are understood. According to Alison Assiter, four ideas are common to the various forms of structuralism. First, that a structure determines the position of each element of a whole.

Order custom essay Structuralism with free plagiarism report

GET ORIGINAL PAPER

Second, that every system has a structure. Third, structural laws deal with co-existence rather than change. Fourth, structures are the "real things" that lie beneath the surface or the appearance of meaning. [4] In the 1970s, structuralism was criticised for its rigidity and ahistoricism. Despite this, many of structuralism's proponents, such as Jacques Lacan, continue to assert an influence on continental philosophy and many of the fundamental assumptions of some of structuralism's critics (who have been associated with "post-structuralism") are a continuation of structuralism. [2]

This essay was written by a fellow student. You can use it as an example when writing your own essay or use it as a source, but you need cite it.

Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses

Starting from 3 hours delivery 450+ experts on 30 subjects
get essay help 124  experts online

Did you know that we have over 70,000 essays on 3,000 topics in our database?

Cite this page

Explore how the human body functions as one unit in harmony in order to life

Structuralism. (2017, Mar 15). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/structuralism/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer