Claude Levi-Strauss Laura Patrickson & Charlotte Reynard
Claude Levi Strauss was a French anthropologist – an anthropologist is someone who studies the physical and social characteristics of humanity. He was around from the 1950’s onwards. He is well known for his development on structural anthropology. His books include, The raw and the cooked, the savage mind, structural anthropology and Totemism
What was his field of study? <ul><li>Levi-Strauss was a linguistic theorist and anthropologist, which means that he studied the scientific aspects of language, philosophy and psychology. </li></ul><ul><li>He was considered to be the founder of the structuralism movement. Structuralism means to break down the main components of the human mind to find hidden semiotics or an underlying pattern. </li></ul><ul><li>Levi-Strauss also branched into other areas of Anthropology, furthering his study into Ethnology ( the study of humans from different races, nationality and ethnicities ). </li></ul>
His works <ul><li>Levi-Strauss’s most famous books are ‘Tristes Tropiques’, ‘The Savage mind’ and ‘The Raw and the Cooked’. In these books, Levi-Strauss explained his belief that the human mind was balanced in both ‘savage’ and ‘civilised’ activity after working for years amongst tribes people in Brazil. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men’s minds without their being aware of the fact” this shows that Levi-Strauss was able to deduct from his research in Brazil that it is possible for people to believe in myths and follow the conventions of life without being aware of what they are. </li></ul>Levi-Strauss studying in Brazil.
Claude Levi Strauss has an effect on us as media students as he did some work on semiotics, he said “language is the semiotic system; it cannot but signify, and exists only through signification.” Semiotics is a major part of media. He also did a lot of work with narrative. After studying hundreds of myths and legends from around the world, Levi Strauss observed that we make sense of the world by seeing and using binary opposites everywhere. He observed that all narratives are organised around conflict between such binary opposites. A binary opposite is two terms or concepts that are theoretical opposites. So Claude Levi Strauss is important to the media world as he has many ideas on how many things in the media work.