Roll No : 04 Semester : 2 Year : 2014-15
Paper :08: Cultural Studies
Department of English
M.K. Bhav. University
Post structuralism and Deconstruction
What is Structuralism ?
It is the offshoot of certain developments in linguistics and
anthropologists .Saussure's mode of the synchronic study of
language was an attempt to formulate the grammar of a language
from a study of parole.
Using the Saussurian linguistic model, Claude Levi-Strauss
examined the customs and conventions of some cultures with a
view of arriving at the grammar of those cultures. Structuralism
aims at forming a poetics or the science of literature from a
study of literary works.
Writers of Structuralism
Differences between the Structuralism and Post structuralism
Structuralism and post structuralism have a great deal in
common. Post structuralism retains structuralism’s emphasis
on language; furthermore, they retain the structuralist belief
that all cultural systems can be represented as “coded systems
of meaning rather than direct transactions with reality.”
Moreover, many of the individuals commonly associated with
post structuralism Foucault, Baudrillard, even Barthes—began
as structuralists and moved in the course of their thought in a
poststructuralist direction. However, there are some key
differences that help us to define the terms, even though we
should understand them not as strict categories but as positions
along a spectrum.
What is Post structuralism ?
Post structuralism designates a broad variety of critical
perspectives and producers that in the 1970s displaced
structuralism from its prominence as the radically innovative
way of dealing with language and other signifying systems.
Writers of Post structuralism
Roland Barthes Jacques Derrida
Deconstruction is a form of philosophical and literary analysis
derived principally from Jacques Derrida's 1967 work Of
Grammatology. In the 1980s it designated more loosely a range of
theoretical enterprises in diverse areas of the humanities and social
sciences, including—in addition to philosophy and literature.
What is Deconstruction ?
Deconstruction is philosophy of meaning; free play of
meaning. The word Bet and Bat - a bird have a lot of meanings
and those meanings play into our mind. To identify the
meaning and true meaning of words is deconstruction.
Language always empowers us. Words control us. We do not
go beyond the words
If we consider one superior then it means we have already
considered one inferior. Superiority of one thing and inferiority of
that thing always come together and questions of ethics, morality
too. It always goes on changing. We do not have general view.
There are differences. Majority and Minority always come
Being - Non-being
Reality - Appearance
Good - Bad
Virtue - Vice
Day - Night
Light - Darkness
Male - Female
White - Black
Colonizer - Colonized
Majority - Minority
Majority has power position and controls others and minority
suffers, Faces many problems. Their desires and ambitions have
been suppressed. The way people use words becomes more
important. Deconstruction helps us understand silence voices,
ignored things which are left out. Deconstruction changes our way
of looking towards different things and our perspectives.
The thing which arrives after the first thing redefines the previous
and the first thing. Idea becomes ideology. Meaning are given in
the context. The idea of signifier and signified comes. Words have
different meanings. In written words meaning dies. The spoken
words are more contextualized. Written things are judged and
examined by readers.
Deconstruction :Derrid's Concept
In the criticism of literature, Deconstruction is a theory and
practice of reading. Which questions and claims to 'subvert' or
'undermine' The assumption that the system of language provides
grounds that are adequate to establish the boundaries.
The coherence or unity, and determine meaning of a literary text.
Typically, a deconstructive reading sets out to show the conflicting
forces within the text itself to dissipate the seeming definiteness of
its structure and meaning into indefinite array of incompatibility
and undividable possibilities.
Logo centrism / Phonocentrism
He tries to deconstruct the idea of prioritization. The way we look
at the word. Language plays a vital role. Language made up of
words and words getting into the meaning and something will
come into existence. Words cannot be measured or understood
from the dictionary.
The truth and the fact play a vital role. Language too becomes an
obstacle. Deconstruction measures the possibility of falsehood in
truth. Truth does not require proof or evidence. Then why does it
need the support of 'words' ? Words do not convey the exact
meaning what they want to say. Truth need not be proved. The
process of knowing and unknowing goes together.