Levi Strauis Analysis

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INCEST TABOO : AN OVERVIEW BY LEVI STRAUSS

In his works of Kinship, Levi Strauss marks a departure from the works of his early predecessors. He is known as a Belgian Anthropologist who lived between 1908-2009 and his area of work was mainly in France where he received the guidance of a French anthropologist. The major reference of distinction between Levi Strauss and the other anthropologists deals with the way of looking at the arrangements of the primitive societies. Anthropologists like , Radcliffe Brown, Malinowski, Emile Durkheim developed their understanding on the nature of primitive societies by gathering the primary data and studied primitive societies in great details and explored the various rules governing the present form of
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The theory of Levi Strauss is of utmost importance to throw light on facts like the conception of myths, incest taboo, rules of kinship, taboos in relation to raw and cooked food, masks and crafts, different forms of gifts and worship and the way the above mentioned factors correspond to the material conditions of the primitive societies. Levi Strauss, in his thesis talks about the harsh conditions through which a primitive man continued to live in the primitive society. His conception of the word 'man ' has a gender neutral meaning attached to it. Just as modern man uses different methods of science and technological innovations to control nature to cater to his needs, a primitive man also works with a similar principle that provided for her sustenance. A primitive man also subjugated nature to her needs in order to built some form of coherence with the nature. The use of tools and instruments used by a primitive man included various means. These means were the rules of marriage, kinship, food, religion and various forms of myths. In his book, 'The Elementary Structures of Kinship ' Levi Strauss explicitly gives an account of the basic human traits through which a man orders and controls nature, in order to obtain food and other essentials for his survival. He traces the emergence of various ways of organizing human individuals into groups known as families, clans, tribes and moieties. The different instruments of organization are rules of incest, marriage rules and the rules concerning the nature of endogamy and exogamy. In the context of the evolution of mankind, the development of social organizations reflect the importance attached to these organizations which form an integral part of the culture. Levi Strauss writes, 'man is both a biological being

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