Definition of structuralism in US English:



  • 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.

    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

    • ‘I will, however, continue to use aspects of structuralism.’
    • ‘Critics countered that Jakobson's structuralism was doubly dangerous because it could be confused with the real thing.’
    • ‘Language-based approaches, such as semiotics, structuralism, and post-structuralism, are not vision-based.’
    • ‘When I went to Paris, structuralism was very important.’
    • ‘In a crazy way, a good way of getting to grips with postmodernism / structuralism might be to dive into some examples in the Arts.’
    • ‘Just as structuralism dispensed with history, so it also had no place for the reader in the production of meaning.’
    • ‘The methods of structuralism and poststructuralism have been beneficial to the study of visual material in various respects.’
    • ‘But something had happened to semiology and structuralism in those ten years, which, as you have surely reckoned, included 1968 and 1970.’
    • ‘He retired from the post in 1971, just as structuralism, semiotics and other French imports began their invasion of film studies.’
    • ‘Parsons 1990 is an important paper, dealing with many subtle issues concerning structuralism.’
    • ‘Poststructuralism is beyond structuralism and focuses on ‘social discourses’ that shape meaning within the reader's mind.’
    • ‘Ascetic structuralism was a major line of enquiry in the London-based structural movement.’
    • ‘His work fuses elements of American structuralism, the narrative avant-garde and experimental documentary.’
    • ‘In the wake of structuralism and poststructuralism, to write of literary personhood is no simple thing.’
    • ‘Indeed, if structuralism has taught us anything, it is that humans impose their sense of opposition on a world of continuous shades of difference and similarity.’
    1. 1.1 The doctrine that structure is more important than function.
      • ‘The crucial feature of ontological eliminative structuralism is that the background ontology is not understood in structuralist terms.’
      • ‘Instead, he mobilizes the logical modalities for his eliminative structuralism.’
      • ‘In its pages, Krauss and her colleagues reformulated the critical program of Minimalism in the language of French structuralism.’
      • ‘There was an immediate affinity between the two, since in France structuralism represented a revolt against the existentialist idea of the self.’
      • ‘Until the 1960s this remained the intellectual agenda of U.S. anthropology, which largely ignored the emergence of both functionalism and structuralism in Europe.’