Notes on Structuralism and Post Structuralism Essay

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Structuralism quite indifferent of the cultural value of its object. The method is analytical, not evaluative." Structuralism is a way of approaching texts and practices which is derived from the theoretical work of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. Its principal exponents are French: Louis Althusser in Marxist theory, Roland Barthes in literary and cultural studies, Michel Foucault in philosophy and history, Jacques Lacan in psychoanalysis, Claude Levy-Strauss in anthropology and Pierre Macherey in literary theory. - Saussure distinguishes between two theoretical approaches to linguistics. The diachronic approach which studies the historical development of a given language, and the synchronic approach which studies a given language in one particular moment in time. - Saussure makes one other distinction which has proved essential to the development of structuralism. This is the division of language into langue and parole - Parole refers to the individual utterance, the individual use of language. Therefore, there is langue and parole, - Roland Bather’s early work on popular culture is concerned with the process of /signification, the mechanisms by which meanings are produced and put into circulation. - Post-structuralists reject the idea of an underlying structure upon which meaning can rest secure and guaranteed. Meaning is always in process - Jacques Derrida Post-structuralism is virtually synonymous with the work of Jacques Derrida. Derrida has invented a new word to describe the divided nature of the sign: difference? meaning both to defer and to differ .Derrida deconstructs the binary opposition between speech and writing. - Rousseau considers speech as the natural way to express thought; writing, lie regards as a 'dangerous supplement'. - Jacques Lacan rereads Freud using the theoretical methodology
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