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Analysis of Claude Levi Strauss's Books - Essay Example

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The Savage Mind Claude Levi-Strauss The Savage Mind written by Claude Levi-Strauss was published in 1966. It is considered a pre-holistic work which did not really focus on the standing of the world before regarding technology and metaphysics. This book discussed the thesis that totemism did not exist, the comparison of engineer and bricoleur, as well as the relationship of the rites that existed during this time…
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Analysis of Claude Levi Strausss Books
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Analysis of Claude Levi Strauss's Books

According to Levi-Strauss, “Heterogeneous beliefs and customs have been arbitrarily collected together under the heading of totemism.” There were many scholars who became supporters of totemism when they tried to decode the secrets of evolution. Levi-Strauss supported the anti-totemic school together with other anthropologists such as Goldenweiser and Boas. They believed that totemism was just a social historical reality. He concluded that totemism is just an exercise in logic of the savage mind. It is not the start of vast accomplishment of savage ancestors to form the first unit of social organization. In the book, Levi-Strauss also compared the Bricoleur and Engineer.. Bricoleur comes from the French verb bricoler which originally meant extraneous movements in ball games, hunting, gun firing, but now referred to repairing things by one’s self. The Engineer was referred by Levi-Strauss as the proper craftsman. According to Levi-Strauss, there is a difference between the two. Engineer sees things in its entirety and gathers all things needed in building or creating its masterpiece. On the other hand, a Bricoleur utilizes what materials are existing and finds new ways to create a masterpiece. The engineer uses a “scientific mind” while a bricoleur exercises a “savage mind”. ...
Bricoleur, is closed to whatever is imposed by the state of civilization. Thus, according to Levi-Strauss, engineers works by concept while bricoleur works with signs. Signs incorporate certain amount of culture into reality while concepts tries to be transparent to reality. This view shows how Levi-Strauss discussed the world between technology and metaphysics. Thus talking about the engineer being able to utilize the available practical knowledge exhibited by the bricoleur, technology therefore was a tangible expression of metaphysics. The two don’t have a big difference but is interconnected. The Savage Mind focused on the division of world during the 1960s. It showed how the scholars had a hard time deciphering a specific formula of how the world works. With what the book has discussed, the world is torn between technology and metaphysics. Scholars also have different views such that others support in totemism while other are support the anti-totemic school such as the author Levi-Strauss. The Tristes Tropiques Claude Levi-Strauss The Tristes Tropiques book by Levi-Strauss provided a very wide exploration of the relationship of human beings and the environment. This book focused in Levi-Strauss’ research in Brazil which discussed sociology, religion, education, as well as urban development. Being an anthropologist, he has shown his feelings, fears and the possible criticisms in this book. On the first part of his book, he showed his talent in writing and him being a good social scientist. He also discussed urban development in Part Three of his book that can be of great reference and influence to architects and urban planners. Being an anthropologist, Levi-Strauss has the responsibility to write his views and opinions. Writing about the ... Read More
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