Definition of structuralism in English:

Share this entry

structuralism

Pronunciation: /ˈstrək(t)SH(ə)rəˌlizəm/

noun

1A method of interpretation and analysis of aspects of human cognition, behavior, culture, and experience that focuses on relationships of contrast between elements in a conceptual system that reflect patterns underlying a superficial diversity.
Example sentences
  • His work fuses elements of American structuralism, the narrative avant-garde and experimental documentary.
  • Poststructuralism is beyond structuralism and focuses on ‘social discourses’ that shape meaning within the reader's mind.
  • The methods of structuralism and poststructuralism have been beneficial to the study of visual material in various respects.
1.1The doctrine that structure is more important than function.
Example sentences
  • Until the 1960s this remained the intellectual agenda of U.S. anthropology, which largely ignored the emergence of both functionalism and structuralism in Europe.
  • There was an immediate affinity between the two, since in France structuralism represented a revolt against the existentialist idea of the self.
  • Instead, he mobilizes the logical modalities for his eliminative structuralism.

Originating in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and extended into anthropology by Claude Lévi-Strauss, structuralism was adapted to a wide range of social and cultural studies, especially in the 1960s, by writers such as Roland Barthes, Louis Althusser, and Jacques Lacan.

Derivatives

structuralist

Pronunciation: /ˈstrək(t)SH(ə)rələst/
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • Said remarked that structuralists stood at ‘the beginning of a new era’.
  • As one of theater's finest structuralists, Cooney writes plays that are a maze of interrelated elements.
  • ‘He was a poet rather than a rigid structuralist like the pure modernists,’ Bell said.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: struc·tur·al·ism

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.