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Structural Anthropology

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  961 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The “structural method,” first set forth in this epoch-making book, changed the very face of social anthropology. This reissue of a classic will reintroduce readers to Lévi-Strauss’s understanding of man and society in terms of individuals—kinship, social organization, religion, mythology, and art.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 7th 1974 by Basic Books (first published 1958)
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This collection of Levi-Strauss' essays, studies and polemic articles often has a manifesto-like tone. However, the chapters vary in style and substance. Some are more ethnographical, others (more numerous) are more theoretical and have a programmatic character. Although Levi-Strauss' analyses are highly competent and thorough and his position supported by solid and sound arguments, I find it hard to subscribe to the approach to anthropology that he advocates. He is a proponent of anthropology b ...more
Dec 29, 2008 Andrew added it
Shelves: anthropology
Yes yes, I know this is a remarkably important book, but it was a slog, and a slog I tended to disagree with. While I admire the tenacity of his research and I admire the historical step of applying Saussure's linguistic method to culture, I can't help but be annoyed by Levi-Strauss' hard-line structuralism. Seriously, the chapter on the structure of myth pissed me off.
Anthony D Buckley
This is just a masterpiece. Particularly his study of myth in this book is just astonishing. His study of myth in Structural Anthropology II is even more astonishing.
Firas Jabbour
الأنتروبولوجيا البنيوية أحد الكتب المميزة جداً جداً التي قرأتها هذا العام..
الجانب النظري أو التنظيري كان معقداً في إطار البحث عن المنهج وعلاقته بمناهج العلوم الأخرى فكانت الطروحات والنقاشات دقيقة للغاية إلا أن الاستشهاد بحالات كان أغلبها من نصوص ميثولوجية كندية أو أسترالية أو أميركية (هندية) ترك فجوة إدراك لمحيط النموذج المطلوب سبره..
كتاب مميز وملهم ويستحق قراءة متأنية للغاية..
Lévi-Strauss changed the face of anthropology with his seminal conference collection turned book. Though anthropology has moved past structuralism this remains a must read book that sheds light into the perceived and neglected (at least before L.-S.) 'structure' of society.
This is one of those books that is more edifying than entertaining. I have a much better appreciation for all social sciences having read this book, and I do recommend it, if you have any curiosity about this discipline, at all.
Suncan Stone
A good Introduction to structural (and other types of) anthropology (I am sure Claude would hate me for saying that). I think the only downside is that it is one of the founding texts of anthropology, which means it is a bit outdated (some chapters in the book were written as articles in the 40s, and since then anthropology has evolved in leaps). But, yes, a classic, so if you are interested in anthropology is is a must read. (Even tough I wrote at the beginning it is an introduction to..., I gu ...more
اهم الافكار
Alexandra Brovco
I feel like such a butt giving this book a one star, but it's not that the book is bad -- it's not. It's just that I didn't like it, precisely what the * rating says.

I'm thankful, though. Made me realise that Anthropology is not for me, despite all the other allure of this course.
A classic no doubt, but flawed in its rigid use of structure and not enough recognition of the organic/fluid nature of societal evolution. Also completely atheist. Careful reading makes this a good study but not recommended for the average layperson.
I got my B.A. almost ten years ago and only just got around to this anthropology classic. Well, better late than never I guess. I can see how a lot of the courses I took drew on some of L-S's fundamentals, even if we only superficially covered him.
Jan 06, 2014 Ta added it
Trudno to w ogóle ocenić. Czasem trzeba nadrobić dziury w wykształceniu.
Olivier Boucher
Great, bu tiedious book for the beginner of anthropology. The first half of the book might be a bit arid, but the second half in simply great. A must read for anyone interested in anthropology.
Paul Hoehn
(obvi did not read the whole thing because i mostly hate anthropology hey but did think a lot about language and symbols so that was hepful)
Jul 30, 2011 Jayw added it
Defines anthropology, goals and methods. Applies scientific model of linguistics.
Jessica Zu
I'd call it mathematical anthropology and the mathematics of the Unconscious!
Anthropology at its best. The true scientist of human nature. J'Adore!
Florin Pitea
I read this back in 1996. My memory of it is foggy, to say the least.
my copy is The Anchor Books edition,1967
Important collection of papers
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: anthropology
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Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist, well-known for his development of structural anthropology. He was born in Belgium to French parents who were living in Brussels at the time, but he grew up in Paris. His father was an artist, and a member of an intellectual French Jewish family. Lévi-Strauss studied at the University of Paris. From 1935-9 he was Professor at the University of Sao Pa ...more
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