STRUCTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY, VOL. II by Claude Levi-Strauss

STRUCTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY, VOL. II

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

By now, Claude Levi-Strauss' reputation and influence as not only the founder of structural anthropology--and perhaps the greatest living anthropologist--but also as a major contemporary thinker have become so established that any book he publishes is de facto an event. This second volume of his Structural Anthropology (the first was published in France in 1958) picks up where the other left off collecting the papers which have appeared in scholarly journals over the last fifteen years to offer, in the author's words, ""a bird's-eye view of the problems of modern ethnology."" They are organized into several groupings although each essay is also a startlingly coherent statement of Levi-Strauss' world view, since the structuralist approach is based on an immanent unity behind all languages, codes and systems devised by man. The initial essays in this volume pay tribute to his mentors--ethnographers, philosophers, sociologists, semiologists--and point to a direction for the future of social anthropology, later, there are several pieces augmenting his revolutionary rethinking of the kinship ""atom"" and the basis of social organization; the most developed section is devoted to ""that domain which I have been most concerned with for the past twenty years,"" the study of mythology and ritual as a means of communication. Levi-Strauss essential humanism--his facility for understanding people as people, even within his atemporal, scientific context--make him one of our most important arbiters of the meaning of ""progress.

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 1975
Publisher: Basic Books