Structuralism Theory

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Structuralism originated in opposition to phenomenology: instead of describing experience, the goal was to identify the underlying structures that make it possible. In place of the phenomenological description of consciousness, structuralism sought to analyse structures that operate unconsciously. Structuralists were a group of primarily French thinkers who, in the 1950s and 1960s were influenced by Ferdinand de Saussure’s theory of language and applied concepts from structural linguistics. Structuralism first developed in anthropology (Claude Lévi-Strauss), then in literary and cultural studies (Roman Jakobson, Roland Barthes), psychoanalysis (Jacques Lacan), intellectual history (Michel Foucault), and Marxist theory (Louis Althusser). These…show more content…
It became clear that works by alleged structuralists did not fit the idea of structuralism as an attempt to master and codify structures. Barthes, Lacan, and Foucault, for example, were identified as post-structuralists, who had gone beyond structuralism narrowly conceived. They had described ways in which theories get entangled in the phenomena they attempt to describe; how texts create meaning by violating any conventions that structural analysis locates. They recognized the impossibility of describing a complete or coherent signifying system, since systems are always changing. In fact, post-structuralism does not demonstrate the inadequacies or errors of structuralism so much as turn away from the project of working out what makes cultural phenomena intelligible and emphasize instead a critique of knowledge, totality, and the subject. It treats each of these as a problematical…show more content…
But that is only one strand of feminism, which is less a unified school than a social and intellectual movement and a space of debate. On the one hand, feminist theorists champion the identity of women, demand rights for women, and promote women’s writings as representations of the experience of women. On the other hand, feminists undertake a theoretical critique of the heterosexual matrix that organizes identities and cultures in terms of the opposition between man and woman issues. Feminist criticism has, in many ways, followed what some theorists call the three waves of
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