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Structuralism perspective in science and technology - Essay Example

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Structuralism perspective in science and technology

However, it was the work of Ferdinand de Saussure that is generally considered to be a starting point of the 20th century structuralism (Structuralism, 2006). Amongst the well-known structuralists are; Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, and Lvi-Strauss. However, it is not possible to claim that some important social and/or psychological theoreticians and certain sciences are structuralist in character because what they do is to build models of psychological or social reality (Glazer, 1996). Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, existentialism like that practiced by Jean-Paul Sartre was the prevailing mood. Structuralism only became prominent in France after WWII predominantly in the 1960s. The early attractiveness of structuralism in France led it to spread throughout the world (Structuralism, 2006). By the early 1960s, structuralism, as a movement, was able to stand on its own and offered a unified approach to human life that will hug all disciplines (Structuralism, 2006).
Just like any other cultural movement, the influences and developments of structuralism are multifaceted (Structuralism, 2006). Structuralism is contentious and indefinable concept. Generally, structuralism can be understood in two levels: first, as a wide intellectual movement, one of the most noteworthy ways of theorising in the human sciences in the twentieth century; second, as a specific set of approaches to literature (and other arts and aspects of culture) thriving in France during the 1960s however with older roots and continuing repercussions. The basic principle of structuralism is that human activity and its results, even perception and thought itself, are constructed and not natural (Maley, n.d.). The theoretical approach offered by structuralism emphasises that elements of culture must be understood in terms of their relationship to the entire system (Rubel and Rosman, 1996). This notion, that the whole is bigger than the parts, got the attention of the Gestalt school of psychology. Fundamentally, the elements of culture are not descriptive in and of themselves, but they form part of a significant system. Structuralism, as an analytical model, assumes the universality of human thought processes in the aim to understand the deep structure or underlying connotation that exist in cultural phenomena (Lett, 1987; Meyer, n.d.). However, the most complicated characteristic of structuralism is that these structures are not based on concrete or physical phenomena as they are in biological or other sciences but based on cultural realities such kinship organisation or stories. These cultural realities are mental as are the structures which explain them. These structures and their structuralist models exist only in human minds, and not in nature as e.g. a Marxist would claim (Glazer, 1996). Structuralism is a multifacet approach embraced by a variety of academic discipline such as psychology, linguistics, anthropology, and human culture as well.
Structuralism in psychology
In the 19th century, structuralism existed for the first time in academic psychology. Psychology, as a subject of discussion, also has a long history within the fields of philosophy and physiology. It only became a sovereign field of its own with the work of the German Wilhelm Wundt. . He was the first one in ...Show more

Summary

Structuralism is a universal approach in a variety academic disciplines that examine the inter-relationships between fundamental elements of some kind, upon which some higher mental, linguistic, social, cultural etc "structures" are built, through which then connotation is shaped within a specific person, system, and culture…
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Structuralism perspective in science and technology essay example
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