Essay on Structuralism And Evaluate The Usefulness Of The Theory

1717 Words Dec 12th, 2014 null Page
In this essay I will explore structuralism and evaluate the usefulness of the theory. I will look at examples of Structuralism in ethnography, such as observable binary oppositions and interpretations of the importance of myth, also exploring criticisms of the theory. I will explore the claim that Structuralism is too theory-based and cannot account for the experience of the individual, and whether this means that Structuralism can be relied on to inform us about human life from an Anthropological perspective. Firstly, I will explore what Structuralism informs us of in the world, looking at universal structures and patterns, interrelating systems and the importance of the unconscious over the conscious. I will then outline supporting evidence, evaluating its relevance and ability in demonstrating the importance of Structuralist theory in its account of human pattern. I will outline kinship and look at myth, and how Lévi-Strauss’ analysis of Oedipus myth illustrates the importance of Structuralist impact on society. Lastly I will evaluate important criticisms of Structuralist theory, exploring its fundamental weaknesses and whether these undermine the theory’s ability to inform us of the social and cultural world.

Structuralism explains how common knowledge allowing us to navigate around the social world is injected and dispersed in patterns and structures and is reproduced by the circulation of rules and narratives within culture. Structuralist theory argues toward the…

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