Re: Is Levi-Strauss essential? was It still works? Avoid it anyway.

rmd (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 08:20:32 GMT

In article <5bgi96$>, (Dan Goodman) wrote:

> In article <5betmn$>,
> Chad Ryan Thomas <> wrote:
> >
> >Seriously, though, if you don't buy Levi-Strauss, you can't buy the majority
> >of modern thought on the structure and function of human culture. If you
> >throw that out, you no longer have ethnographic analogy to help you
> >understand alien cultures, and then a whole slew of bad things start to
> >happen. (Again, this is just my take on it, and I've found several people
> >on the 'net who think differently with quite a conviction. So please don't
> >think I'm trying to impose my views on you.)
> >
> Question for sci.anthropology -- is this an accurate assessment of
> Levi-Strauss's place in anthropology (and related disciplines)?

Can't speak for anthropology, but can for a related discipline:
comparative religion. In these parts L-S is rather out-of-date, and has
mostly been discarded in favor of more flexible (and less overtly
dogmatic) theories of culture. There are still a few ardent
structuralists out there, but they're increasingly isolated from the
mainstream. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but there's an
answer to your question.

As for myself, I tend to begin with structuralism's questions and end with
entirely different answers.

Mark Diller
The University of Chicago

a .sig-free zone