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structuralism

Subject: Literature

Architecture derived from ‘archeforms’ (meaning archetypal or original forms), supposedly involving a creative searching for those archetypes, sign-systems, and indicators that determine, ...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007

... A theoretical approach in sociology that views social structures as being of greater importance than human actions. It often involves searching for the social reality that lies below outward, superficial...

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The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
305 words

...is this narrow structuralism that was attacked by generative grammarians, though their debt to it was greater than is sometimes admitted. In the European tradition, structuralism is altogether older and broader. De Saussure is generally regarded as the father of modern structural linguistics, even though some of his principles can be found in earlier writers. 1977 J. LYONS What must be emphasized…is that there is, in principle, no conflict between generative grammar and Saussurean structuralism… Saussurean structuralists, unlike many of the...

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A Dictionary of Film Studies

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
496 words

...; film form ; film theory ; genre . Further Reading: Cook, Pam ‘Auteur Theory and Structuralism’, in Pam Cook (ed.) , The Cinema Book 446–59, (2007). Stam, Robert , Burgoyne, Robert , and Flitterman-Lewis, Sandy New Vocabularies in Film Semiotics: Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Beyond (1992). Thompson, John ‘Structuralism and Its Aftermaths’, in Pam Cook (ed.) , The Cinema Book 510–9, (2007). Wright, Will Sixguns and Society: A Structural Study of the Western ...

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
87 words

... Twentieth‐century school of critical thought. Ferdinand de Saussure argued that underlying the everyday use of language is a language system ( langue ), based on relationships of difference. He stressed the arbitrary nature of the relationship between the signifier (sound or image) and the signified (concept). Initially a linguistic theory, Claude Lévi‐Strauss and Roland Barthes developed structuralism into a mode of critical analysis of cultural institutions and products. It is associated especially with the notion of a literary text as a...

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A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...with one another, using controlled methods of introspection . Structuralism (in this sense) went into decline in Germany with the advent of Nazism in the 1930s and disappeared from US psychology shortly after Titchener’s death in 1927 . See also act psychology , content psychology , introspectionism , Würzburg school . structuralist adj . n . Of or relating to structuralism; a member or follower of the school of structuralism (2), or one who advocates or practises structuralism (1,...

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
238 words

... [Th] A theoretical approach, derived originally from the study of language, concerned with the identification of structures in social or cultural systems. A philosophy holding that there are non‐apparent, innate psycho‐biological structures common to all human beings. Structuralism is a very influential approach and a body of cultural theory derived ultimately from work in linguistics. A major distinction is between language as it is spoken ( parole ) and language as the underlying system of signs ( langue ). Structuralism focuses on the latter, and...

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Peter Burnham and Charles Jones

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
453 words

... In general terms, the doctrine that the structure of a system or organization is more important than the individual behaviour of its members. Structural inquiry has deep roots in Western thought and can be traced back to the work of Plato and Aristotle. Modern structuralism as a diverse movement‐cum‐epistemology began with the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure ( 1857–1913 ). In social and political theory, structuralism refers to the attempt to apply methods influenced by structural linguistics to social and political phenomena. Its distinctive...

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Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Social sciences
Length:
429 words

... A general theory of culture and method of analysis developed by Claude Lévi-Strauss in the 1950s and 1960s. Structuralism's origins lie in the social theories of Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss , and in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure . The principles of structural linguistics reached Lévi-Strauss by way of Roman Jakobson , a prominent linguist encountered by Lévi-Strauss while both were in exile in New York during World War II. Also available to Lévi-Strauss for the first time was the vast and largely unanalyzed record of...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...a basic ‘ syntax ’ of human culture. Structuralism and its ‘science of signs’ ( see semiotics ) were derived chiefly from the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure ( 1857–1913 ), and partly from Russian Formalism and the related narratology of Vladimir Propp ’s Morphology of the Folktale ( 1928 ). It flourished in France in the 1960s, following the widely discussed applications of structural analysis to mythology by the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss . In the study of literary works, structuralism was distinguished by its rejection of...

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A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
117 words

... Architecture derived from ‘archeforms’ (meaning archetypal or original forms), supposedly involving a creative searching for those archetypes, sign-systems, and indicators that determine, in theory, the history of architecture. Elements of Structuralism have been detected by some in early designs by Le Corbusier involving an overlay on a pronounced circulation-pattern, and in works by Kahn and the Smithsons . It seems to have evolved from discussions by Team X and CIAM , and has been used to describe certain Dutch buildings, notably by Blom...

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The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
260 words

...real advance is in its highly sophisticated treatment of rhetorical figures like metaphor and metonymy, figures which (according to Roman Jakobson ) are the structural axes of all linguistic communication, and which are raised to their highest expressive power in poetry and other art-forms. Prof. Christopher Norris See also post-structuralism . Michael Lane (ed.), Structuralism: A Reader (London,...

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A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
440 words

...autonomy of thinking and feeling individuals. In the 1980s, a rapprochement between the apparent causal determinism of Marxist structuralism and the apparent voluntarism of humanistic geography was attempted ( see structuration ). Human agency was seen to be more than a narrowly circumscribed effect of structural forces, but also significantly controlled by them. These debates mostly subsided in the 1990s, when post-structuralism exerted considerable influence on human geographers. Despite its prefix, this approach—in practice—could itself be rather...

Structuralism

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The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

...a form of currency. Structuralism proposed that much human activity, even seemingly improvised activity, is in fact a game or a ritual, and that all games and rituals have rules which can be uncovered and described. One effect of this proposition for literature was a rediscovery of rhetoric as a mode of analysis, and the work of Tzvetan Todorov ( 1940–  ) and Gérard Genette ( 1930–  ) in particular offers excellent examples of what highly formalized close investigation of a text can yield. Structuralism gave way to post-structuralism when writers and...

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A Dictionary of Media and Communication (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
285 words

... 1. Approaches to linguistic, psychological, and sociocultural phenomena as formal systems of relations in which universal principles, laws, or rules are seen as underlying the surface features of particular instances ( see also deep structure ; langue and parole ). Cultural variation is seen as secondary. The system is seen as a unitary whole which is greater than the sum of its parts ( compare functionalism ). Structural analysis involves the search for underlying semantic oppositions ( see also binary opposition ). Typically,...

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Encyclopedia of Semiotics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Language reference, Linguistics
Length:
2,063 words

... . The school of thought that developed in France in the 1960s in the wake of Claude Lévi‐Strauss's landmark book, Anthropologie structurale ( 1958 ), structuralism is not reducible to a single movement or trend: in one form or another, it spans the entire twentieth century. Nor does structuralism constitute a single field or discipline in the sense of a specialized and discrete body of knowledge, with its own specialized texts, practices, rules of entry, and so on. Instead, structuralism can best be described, to adapt a term proposed by Basil...

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A Dictionary of Geography (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... This is based on the thesis that behind local cultural variations there are deep-laid foundations (structures): ‘all manner of practices, objects, events, and meanings, are taken to exist not as discrete entities, but as parts relationally embedded within, and constituted by, underlying wholes’ (Dixon and Jones in J. S. Duncan, N. C. Johnson, and R. H. Schein (2004)). See poststructuralism . For example, one society might kill to stop schoolgirls being educated while another bans female popes. In both cases, the deep structure is patriarchy...

Structuralism

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The Oxford Companion to the Bible

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Religion
Length:
1,777 words

...and Proponents. The roots of structuralism go back to the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure ( 1915 ) and the influence of the Russian formalists, with their emphasis on linguistics and the poetics of the text, how it is made. Roman Jakobson was influential in the shift in European criticism from Russian formalism to structuralism; he placed the study of poetics within the context of linguistics by describing six basic external factors and corresponding internal functions. The roots of structuralism can further be traced to anthropology,...

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A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
1,132 words

...but the product of unconscious desires. Indeed, at the height of the popularity of structuralism, it was common to talk of the death of the subject—the demise of the idea of individuals acting and choosing voluntarily. Some granted the role of agency instead to the underlying structure itself, and talked of ‘language speaking people’, ‘books reading people’, and so forth. This more extreme view has moderated with the development of post-structuralism. Finally, structuralism heralded a change in our conception of history, away from the idea of a comparatively...

Structuralism

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The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
1,399 words

...learned from Structuralism to ‘read’ the entire human text, and nature itself, as something which does not ‘go without saying’ but has instead to be decoded, the world will never be the same again. [ Annette Lavers ] See J. Piaget , Le Structuralisme (1968); F. Wahl , Qu'est‐ce que le structuralisme? (1968); O. Ducrot and T. Todorov , Dictionnaire encyclopédique des sciences du langage (1972); T. Hawkes , Structuralism and Semiotics (1977); A. Lavers , Roland Barthes: Structuralism and After (1982); J. Sturrock , Structuralism ...

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A Dictionary of the Bible (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Religion
Length:
199 words

... One facet of a larger movement in modern literary criticism, associated particularly with Claude Lévi-Strauss, a philosophical anthropologist, and now applied to biblical studies. It suggests that critical attention be focused less on evidence about authors or editors of the text but more on the text as it stands, and what it conveys to the readers. For texts have only a relational, not an essential, meaning. Every word fits into a complex pattern of binary oppositions, and it is this structure which gives it meaning. Structuralism is indifferent to...

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