Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Structural Anthropology” as Want to Read:
Structural Anthropology
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Structural Anthropology

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,252 Ratings  ·  26 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Structural Anthropology, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Structural Anthropology

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Anthony Buckley
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthropology
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.
Dec 20, 2008 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.
Muhammad Nusair
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Social anthropology presented right.
Suncan Stone
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, anthropology
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
Wilson prata
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Antes de ler o livro criei uma expectativa muito forte sobre seu conteúdo. Acabei de ler O Cru e o cozido, já tinha lido partes de O Pensamento selvagem e alguns artigos soltos de autoria do Levi-Strauss e sobre sua obra. Sabia que precisava de uma leitura de base a respeito da abordagem estruturalista. Considerando que As estruturas elementares do parentesco possui um objeto bem específico, a escolha óbvia era pela Antropologia Estrutural. Por esse motivo, esperava algo mais didático, próximo d ...more
Kevin Wright
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest Structuralist classics. :') The outmoded language is really not that bad aside from the use of the word "primitive" and the obvious presence of the white gaze constantly at work. The overall suggestion of this presence, why it might make the reading uneasy, is that none of the knowledge we call "anthropological" seems at all trustworthy.

But this is exactly what Lévi-Strauss chooses to address at the very beginning, unfolding his methodology in the familiar French Hegelian st
Firas Jabbour
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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..
Jun 01, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: anthropology
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.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Struggled a bit with the unexpected complexity of Structural Anthropology by Claude Levi Strauss. Besides making culture in my head all jumbled up with different hypothesis about it, it also made me be completely fascinated by the first field anthropologists.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthropology, reread
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.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthropology
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.
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.
Nov 21, 2009 added it
Shelves: anthropology
Paul Hoehn
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: honors-project
(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)
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Important collection of papers
Jessica Zu
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rel501
I'd call it mathematical anthropology and the mathematics of the Unconscious!
Jul 30, 2011 added it
Defines anthropology, goals and methods. Applies scientific model of linguistics.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
اهم الافكار
Jan 02, 2014 added it
Trudno to w ogóle ocenić. Czasem trzeba nadrobić dziury w wykształceniu.
Olivier Boucher
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthropologie
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.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthropology
Olin lugedes Lévi-Straussiga pidevalt konfliktis. No ikka üldse ei ole strukturalist.
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthropology
my copy is The Anchor Books edition,1967
Florin Pitea
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this back in 1996. My memory of it is foggy, to say the least.
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Anthropology at its best. The true scientist of human nature. J'Adore!
Edward Worso
rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2016
Manya Velichkovska
rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2016
rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2007
rated it it was ok
Feb 05, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure
  • The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies
  • Argonauts of the Western Pacific
  • Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande
  • The Interpretation of Cultures
  • Patterns of Culture
  • Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
  • Outline of a Theory of Practice
  • Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
  • The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
  • Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilisation
  • Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures
  • Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society (updated with a new preface)
  • Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications
  • Anthropology and Social Theory: Culture, Power, and the Acting Subject
  • Europe and the People Without History
  • Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences
  • The Rites of Passage
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
More about Claude Lévi-Strauss...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
    $8.24 $1.99
  • A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
    $27.00 $2.99
  • Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Room of One's Own
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Life in a Medieval City
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing A Child Called "It"
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
    $13.99 $2.99
  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Christianity
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
    $7.24 $1.99
  • Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Decoded
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals-and Other Forgotten Skills
    $15.95 $1.99
  • A Man Called Intrepid: The Incredible True Story of the Master Spy Who Helped Win World War II
    $14.99 $1.99
  • K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Living: The Classical Mannual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Come to the Edge
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Communicating
    $9.49 $2.99
  • American Jezebel
    $8.24 $1.99
“Not all poisonous juices are burning or bitter nor is everything which is burning and bitter poisonous.” 9 likes
“For everything is history: What was said yesterday is history, what was said a minute ago is history. But, above all, one is led to misjudge the present, because only the study of historical development permits the weighing and evalua­ tion of the interrelationships among the components of the present- day society.” 0 likes
More quotes…