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structuralism
     
           #3818   Created 02/25/2016   Updated 03/24/2016

(wikipedia)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structuralism

In sociology, anthropology and linguistics, structuralism is the methodology that elements of human culture must be understood in terms of their relationship to a larger, overarching system or structure. It works to uncover the structures that underlie all the things that humans do, think, perceive, and feel. Alternatively, as summarized by philosopher Simon Blackburn, structuralism is "the belief that phenomena of human life are not intelligible except through their interrelations. These relations constitute a structure, and behind local variations in the surface phenomena there are constant laws of abstract culture" (2)

...

The origins of structuralism connect with the work of Ferdinand de Saussure on linguistics, along with the linguistics of the Prague and Moscow schools. In brief, de Saussure's structural linguistics propounded three related concepts.[1]

De Saussure argued for a distinction between langue (an idealized abstraction of language) and parole (language as actually used in daily life). He argued that the "sign" was composed of both a signified, an abstract concept or idea, and a "signifier", the perceived sound/visual image.

Because different languages have different words to describe the same objects or concepts, there is no intrinsic reason why a specific sign is used to express a given signifier. It is thus "arbitrary". Signs thus gain their meaning from their relationships and contrasts with other signs. As he wrote, "in language, there are only differences 'without positive terms.'"[4]

The origins of structuralism connect with the work of Ferdinand de Saussure on linguistics, along with the linguistics of the Prague and Moscow schools. In brief, de Saussure's structural linguistics propounded three related concepts.[1]

De Saussure argued for a distinction between langue (an idealized abstraction of language) and parole (language as actually used in daily life). He argued that the "sign" was composed of both a signified, an abstract concept or idea, and a "signifier", the perceived sound/visual image.

Because different languages have different words to describe the same objects or concepts, there is no intrinsic reason why a specific sign is used to express a given signifier. It is thus "arbitrary".

Signs thus gain their meaning from their relationships and contrasts with other signs. As he wrote, "in language, there are only differences 'without positive terms.'"[4]

Proponents of structuralism would argue that a specific domain of culture may be understood by means of a structure—modelled on language—that is distinct both from the organizations of reality and those of ideas or the imagination—the "third order".[5] 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.

In a later development, feminist theorist Alison Assiter enumerated four ideas that she says are common to the various forms of structuralism. First, that a structure determines the position of each element of a whole. 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.[8]

--------- citations

Blackburn, Simon (2008). Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, second edition revised. Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-954143-0 ^ Jump up to: a b c Deleuze, Gilles. 2002. "How Do We Recognise Structuralism?" In Desert Islands and Other Texts 1953-1974. Trans. David Lapoujade. Ed. Michael Taormina. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents ser. Los Angeles and New York: Semiotext(e), 2004. 170–192. ISBN 1-58435-018-0: p. 170. Jump up ^ John Sturrock (1979), Structuralism and since: from Lévi Strauss to Derrida, Introduction. Jump up ^ F. de Saussure, Cours de linguistique generale, published by C. Bally and A. Sechehaye (Paris: Payot, 1916); English translation by Wade Baskin, Course in General Linguistics (New York: Philosophical Library, 1959), p. 120. Jump up ^ Deleuze, Gilles. 2002. "How Do We Recognise Structuralism?" In Desert Islands and Other Texts 1953-1974. Trans. David Lapoujade. Ed. Michael Taormina. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents ser. Los Angeles and New York: Semiotext(e), 2004. 170–192. ISBN 1-58435-018-0: p. 171–173. Jump up ^ Jean Piaget, Le structuralisme, ed. PUF, 1968. Jump up ^ Louis Althusser and Étienne Balibar. Reading Capital trans. Ben Brewster. London: NLB, 1970. p. 7. Jump up ^ Assiter, Alison (June 1984). "Althusser and structuralism". British Journal of Sociology (London School of Economics) 35 (2): 272–296. doi:10.2307/590235. JSTOR 590235.



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