What does structuralism mean?

Definitions for structuralismˈstrʌk tʃər əˌlɪz əm

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word structuralism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. structuralism, structural linguistics(noun)

    linguistics defined as the analysis of formal structures in a text or discourse

  2. structuralism, structural anthropology(noun)

    an anthropological theory that there are unobservable social structures that generate observable social phenomena

  3. structuralism, structural sociology(noun)

    a sociological theory based on the premise that society comes before individuals


  1. structuralism(Noun)

    A theory of sociology that views elements of society as part of a cohesive, self-supporting structure.

  2. structuralism(Noun)

    A school of biological thought that deals with the law-like behaviour of the structure of organisms and how it can change, emphasising that organisms are wholes, and therefore that change in one part must necessarily take into account the inter-connected nature of the entire organism.

  3. structuralism(Noun)

    The theory that a human language is a self-contained structure related to other elements which make up its existence.

  4. structuralism(Noun)

    A school of thought that focuses on exploring the individual elements of consciousness, how they are organized into more complex experiences, and how these mental phenomena correlate with physical events.


  1. Structuralism

    In critical theory, structuralism is a theoretical paradigm emphasizing that elements of human culture must be understood in terms of their relationship to a larger, overarching system or structure. It works to uncover the structures that underlie all the things that humans do, think, perceive, and feel. Alternately, as summarized by philosopher Simon Blackburn, Structuralism is "the belief that phenomena of human life are not intelligible except through their interrelations. These relations constitute a structure, and behind local variations in the surface phenomena there are constant laws of abstract culture". Structuralism originated in the early 1900s, in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague, Moscow and Copenhagen schools of linguistics. In the late 1950s and early '60s, when structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance, an array of scholars in the humanities borrowed Saussure's concepts for use in their respective fields of study. French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss was arguably the first such scholar, sparking a widespread interest in Structuralism. The structuralist mode of reasoning has been applied in a diverse range of fields, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, literary criticism, economics and architecture. The most prominent thinkers associated with structuralism include Lévi-Strauss, linguist Roman Jakobson, and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. As an intellectual movement, structuralism was initially presumed to be the heir apparent to existentialism. However, by the late 1960s, many of structuralism's basic tenets came under attack from a new wave of predominantly French intellectuals such as the philosopher and historian Michel Foucault, the philosopher and social commentator Jacques Derrida, the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser, and the literary critic Roland Barthes. Though elements of their work necessarily relate to structuralism and are informed by it, these theorists have generally been referred to as post-structuralists.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of structuralism in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of structuralism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Images & Illustrations of structuralism

  1. structuralismstructuralismstructuralism

Translations for structuralism

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