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FRENCH STRUCTURALISM
Introduction      Structuralism is an intellectual movement which  began in France in the 1950s and is first seen in the ...
Roots of Structuralism  Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913)     Saussure revolutionized the study of language. Nineteenth-ce...
   Language is a system of signs.   Those signs are arbitrary and are maintained    only by convention. There is no inhe...
Structuralist literary criticism      It is a type of literary criticism that derives from  structuralism.      Claude L...
      A literary structuralist focuses on structures in"literary" texts.      Structuralist literary critics link a text...
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French structuralism

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  1. 1. FRENCH STRUCTURALISM
  2. 2. Introduction Structuralism is an intellectual movement which began in France in the 1950s and is first seen in the work of the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss (1908— 2009) and the literary critic Roland Barthes (1915-1980). Structralists believe that things cannot be understood in isolation - they have to be seen in the context of the larger structures they are part of. Elements of culture must be understood in terms of their relationship to a larger system or "structure.” Structuralism is found in all areas of thought and study. The structuralist mode of reasoning has been applied in a diverse range of fields, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, literary criticism, and architecture. Structuralism is interdisciplinary.
  3. 3. Roots of Structuralism Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) Saussure revolutionized the study of language. Nineteenth-century linguistics is mainly interested in the history of languageand the origin of individual words. Instead of the usualhistorical, diachronic approach – following language throughtime – he opted for an ahistorical one. The important thing forhim was how does language work? Saussure is also different from what grammarians – theother type of linguist around in Saussure’s time – used to do.Grammarians wanted to describe the underlying grammaticalrules that we follow when we talk or write. So they analysedinstances of language use – our individual utterances, whichSaussure called paroles (plural) – to get at those rules. ButSaussure is interested in how language as such works – in whathe called langue – and not in the grammatical system of this orthat language.
  4. 4.  Language is a system of signs. Those signs are arbitrary and are maintained only by convention. There is no inherent connection between a sign and what it designates (the red color and stop). A word (sign) links a concept (signified) with a sound or image (signifier). The relationship between the signified and the signifier is arbitrary. The form of words is not determined by their relationship with what they refer to. Saussure traces the origin of the form of words (linguistic signs) to the principle of differentiation.
  5. 5. Structuralist literary criticism It is a type of literary criticism that derives from structuralism. Claude Lévi-Strauss, as a logical consequence of his work on myths, proposed a search for the underlying structure of all narratives in all forms of fiction, including biography and autobiography, travel literature, and so on. Structuralist critics argue for the possibility of analyzing literary texts systematically and scientifically. Structralists ignore biographical and historical consideration and stress the study of the text.
  6. 6.  A literary structuralist focuses on structures in"literary" texts. Structuralist literary critics link a text with otherliterary texts (with texts within the same collection, bythe same author, by the author’s contemporaries,within the same genre, within the same time period).
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