Symbolic Structuralism Synopsis

Characteristics & History

  • Claude Levi-Strauss' brain child
  • Inspired by linguistics and semiotic theories of meaning, and Durkheim's and Mauss' works
  • Two themes within Structuralism:
    • emphasis on meaning and symbolism
    • emphasis on exchange
  • human minds are hardwired to think in terms of opposites, and how people perceive the world influences their behavior/decisions/etc.