The Structuralist Theory of Culture

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The structuralist theory is found in anthropology whereby it argues that the process of thoughts in all human beings is the same despite the different cultures they posses. It goes on to add that the thought process only exists binary opposite forms. For instance: male-female, hot-cold, raw-cooked and so on.


Structuralists therefore argue that there is a hidden reality in all cultures. Thus they try to understand the mental process of humans as they believe they are expressed through their cultures. The theory further emphasises that it is important to understand all the cultural elements in relation to the whole system. It simply uses the thought that the whole is better than the small parts. It is evident that cultural ways are hard to explain but it is a fact that they form a meaningful part of the whole system. It therefore tries to study the structure of the thought process.
Roland Barthes was responsible in explaining the concept of myth as it contributed to the structuralist theory. He came up with the "Myth Today" concept whereby it defines myth as a category of speech. According to him, myth is not just any type of speech but also a means by which people use to communicate. Myth is a message that is sent to a particular group of people. According to the study therefore, a myth can not be perceived as an object, idea or concept but rather form and way of signification. For this reason, it is illusionary to discriminate other people's myths. This therefore shows that there is no primitive, better or poor culture. It is important to note that anything can be considered to be a myth as it is a speech but depending on how it is conveyed. ...
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