´╗┐´╗┐Structuralist Criticism

What is structuralist criticism?

  • It is a principle that human culture is made up of systems and if a change is to occur in any element can produce a change in other systems

  • The systems prove that changes occur that allow the culture learn and change as well

  • Quote: "Think before you act"

  • In literature, the criticism does not worry about the content withing, but the underlying text/structure

  • Many people studying structuralism in literature do not focus on one text

  • People focus on a numerous amount of text with the same meaning

  • Readers try to find the universal meaning that is hidden within the text

  • **There are 4 basic types of theoretical/ critical activities that have been classified as structuralist and they are: the use of language as a structural model, the search for universal functions or actions in texts, the explanation of how meaning is possible, and the post-structuralist denial of objective meaning.

  • Structuralism focuses directly on what communicated no implied knowledge is used. It is the analysis of exactly what the text tells you, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Not to get confused with Discourse Analysis which analyzes more scientific content, structuralism is versatile and can be used on just about any subject to reveal underlying structure

  • Better described by Jean-Marie Benoist: "An analysis is structural if, and only if, it displays the content as a model, i.e., if it can isolate a formal set of elements and relations in terms of which it is possible to argue without entering upon the significance of the given content. (Benoist,8)"

  • One advantage of using structuralist criticism is since it is designed to bring out the underlying structure it helps to reveal their limiting and conditioning ways

  • Used in other verbal sciences including linguistics and non-linguistics

  • These other sciences help convey the messages they are trying to prove

  • The structuralist way of criticism was criticized for being too rigid and ahistorical in the 1970's by many critics and is not favored much in current times, yet still asserts it's influence over continental philosophy

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