Structuralism is a conceptual and methodological approach to describing and analyzing a variety of objects of inquiry including, for example, cultures, economics, language, literature, mythologies, politics, and societies. A structuralist analysis assumes that these objects of inquiry can be characterized by underlying structures conceived as systems of interrelated parts and that they can be defined (at least in part) by relationships among these constitutive elements. Structuralist assumptions (concerning both the existence of underlying structures and the methods by which they should be analyzed) developed within what we now tend to label “Continental” (that is, non-Anglophone European) philosophymuch of it French during the early decades of the 20th century, but the influence of structuralism on both Continental and Anglo-American scholarship became much more prominent after World ...

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