What structuralism is not

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Abstract / Description of output

Structuralism designates the approach to language analysis which brought linguistics into the modern era, and turned semiotics from an outline programme into an academic discipline. Yet it remains so ill-defined that there is little agreement on when it began and ended – indeed whether it has ended – or on who embraced it or resisted it, and whether the form it took in linguistics is continuous with or separate from that in semiotics, cultural anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary and feminist theory or the many other fields in which it has been applied. This chapter aims to circumscribe structuralism in a structuralist way, by examining certain characteristics which do not in fact define it, but are often applied to it: that it rejects both history and subjecthood, advocates taxonomy without process, and is anti-social and anti-mental (or anti-meaning). Structuralism was not, or is not,:a unified movement; and although some of the work associated with structuralism may show one or more of these characteristics, none of them is essential to it, but at most only contingent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructuralism as one - structuralism as many
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Structuralism(s)
EditorsLorenzo Cigana, Frans Gregersen
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherThe Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9788773044476
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Publication series

NameScientia Danica - Series H - Humanistica
PublisherVidenskabernes Selskab
ISSN (Print)1904-5506


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