Structuralism and Functionalism. The Difference between Lévi-Strauss, Malinowski and Evans-Pritchard in Reference to Kinship

GRIN Verlag
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Essay from the year 2013 in the subject Ethnology / Cultural Anthropology, grade: 62%, University of Cambridge, language: English, abstract: Even though scholars directly involved in the discourse were themselves not able to clearly differentiate between structuralism, functionalism and the various combinations of the two terms, retrospectively, two lines have been drawn. The first is between functionalism which was brought forward by Malinowski and his followers at the LSE and structural-functionalism. The latter was historically developed as a direct reply to a Malinowskian individualism by Radcliffe-Brown, Fortes and Evans-Pritchard. The line this essay is going to blur separates structural-functionalism from originally French structuralism as coined by Levi-Strauss. I argue that those retrospective lines are nowadays often as artificial as they were for contemporary scholars in the early 1900s. Many commonalities – in their striving for universal laws, and even their fallacies – are contrasted by some differences, mainly in their treatment of fieldwork and the concept of structure. The different schools of thought were organically growing out of each other rendering the continuity of features natural. Only paying attention in passing to the earlier, ‘purely’ functionalist school of Malinowski, I compare the structural functionalism most clearly visible in Radcliffe-Brown with Levi-Strauss’ structuralism. Let me briefly put forward his arguments on methods in general as well as function and structure in particular before Levi-Strauss enters the analysis.
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Publisher
GRIN Verlag
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Published on
Jul 10, 2015
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Pages
7
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ISBN
9783668013773
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / General
Social Science / Ethnology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Essay from the year 2012 in the subject Sociology - Classics and Theoretical Directions, grade: 2:1, London School of Economics, language: English, abstract: According to Baudrillard, the contemporary ‘value system’ is based on binary oppositions. The most vital of those are good and evil, man and machine and crucially important life and death. In our society, death is increasingly separated from life in stark contrast to what is still to be found in the ‘primitive cultures’. Without being able to explain the alternative system – symbolic exchange – in its complexity, it is important to note its contrasting idea of “a circular form, a circuit, reversibility” (Baudrillard, 2003: 16ff). In a symbolic system associated but not limited to ‘primitives’, death is not negativity, not endpoint but rather charged with symbolic meaning as part of a constant exchange procedure, always part of life. For us, death is ‘abnormal’ and we are constantly striving to extinguish it, make it ‘extraterritorial’ (Baudrillard, 1993: 126, 182) (e.g. in hospitals, out-of-town cemeteries, palliative clinics). In the following paragraphs, the essay will suggest a reading of Baudrillard’s contrasting notion of ‘natural death’ that he claims to be ‘everyone’s right and duty’. In the first part, we give a close reading of Baudrillard’s notion of natural death - without a primarily critical reflection. What will be suggested is that progress creates both the possibility for a natural, i.e. designed, death and its imperative. The critical reflection of part two will try to qualify Baudrillard’s statements with a general critique of his ironic style and advance arguments with regards to content: How is it possible to close of individuality? Is it really a right for ‘everyone’? Before this critical account can be appreciated, however, the notion of ‘natural death’ shall be explained in the following.
Project Report from the year 2014 in the subject Ethnology / Cultural Anthropology, grade: 1.0, Queen's University Belfast (School of History and Anthropology), course: Social Anthropology, language: English, abstract: First-hand ethnographic research delving into the complex notion of love within friendships. Specifically, this project seeks to outline the boundaries which frame such relationships and the consequences which may arise from their neglect. In deciding our research project, we were to choose between two main themes: “love” or “grief”. In our first group meeting in class, we decided that we would choose the broad theme of love for a several reasons. It is generally a more positive subject than grief, and so, was simply preferred by the group; it is something almost everyone can personally relate to; and there are many different types of love and so we could approach the project in various ways. For these main reasons, we agreed that love would be our favored theme. The next course of action was choosing our specific research title. From the suggestions given, there were many different angles we could take. One of these suggestions was “love between friends”. We felt this was a strong idea because it is outside the topic of romantic love, and we were also intrigued to discover more about it ourselves. At first, some within the group, including myself, were concerned that we may struggle to find a unique idea that no one else in the class had chosen, but this was fortunately not the case. In our next meeting we decided on the main research questions for the topic and the title itself. When we brainstormed as a group we had several ideas, below are the ones we felt were most feasible and most interesting to investigate: - Boundaries between acquaintance and friend - Boundaries within friendship - Boundaries beyond friendship - Maintenance of friendship - The “Friendzone”
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