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Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1908–2009)

Claude Lévi-Strauss, an anthropologist and ethnologist, was one of the most important social scientists of the 20th century. His concept of structuralism continues to exert a widespread influence not only in anthropology but also in fields as diverse as philosophy, history, sociology, and literary theory.

Lévi-Strauss studied law and philosophy at the Paris-Sorbonne University. He accepted a position as a professor of anthropology at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, for 5 years (1934–1939). During his stay in this South American country, he conducted fieldwork in the Amazonian region, where he studied the native tribes: the Bororo, Guaycuru, Tupi-Kawahib, and Nambikwara. At the New School for Social Research (United States), he became interested in structural linguistics—a field he was introduced to by the phonologist Roman Jakobson. ...

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