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

Dan Goodman (
16 Jan 1997 01:49:57 GMT

In article <5bk10l$>,
Mike Chary <> wrote:
>Julia E Smith <> wrote:
>>Mike Chary <> wrote:
>>>Largely. It's certainly true that Levi-Strauss's brand of structural
>>>anthropology is pretty pervasive. OTOH, you still have other viewpoints,
>>>and finding an anthropologist to disagree with another anthropologist about
>>>something doesn't require a search party or even a lunch break :)
>>I wouldn't call structural anthropology of *any* sort pervasive at this
>>point. Important historically, clearly. Vital that any anthropologist be
>>familiar with what he said, assuredly. However, I think there's a lot of
>>more recent, more interesting work out there. Most intellectual
>>descendants of Levi-Strauss would identify themselves as
>>post-structuralists, or structural Marxists. I doubt you could find an
>>unmodified structuralist out there anymore.
>Semantics, I think. Which is not to dismiss your point, but rather to say
>it isn't addressing mine really. I didn't say "dominant." I said
>"pervasive." Sort of like the ecological approaches of Rappaport or
>Steward. If you can't get out of graduate school with an anthro degree
>without knowing them, they are pretty well sunk in. Heck, you can't get
>an undergrad degree without knowing Rappaport these days.
Going back in the comment chain: Is it necessary for a science fiction or
fantasy writer to know about Levi-Strauss's work in order to construct
believable societies?

And -- what anthropological literature IS useful to science fiction and
fantasy writers?

I've been recommending T.N Luhrmann's Persuasions of the Witch's Craft.

Dan Goodman
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.