Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Goodbye to the "Father of Modern Anthroplogy"

October 31, 2009 anthropology lost one of its greatest contributors, Claude Levi-Strauss. At the age of 100, the "father of modern anthropology" quietly passed away in his Paris home. Levi-Strauss was a leading post-war intellectual who inspired academics in multiple fields with his studies in structuralism, and is the leading contributor to the structural anthropology school of thought.

Defined as an approach to studying the structures and oppostions that make up human phenomenon, Levi-Strauss used strucutralism to analize myth, language, religion and food preparation of serval cultures. He proposed that all humans see things in binary opposites and that culture interpretes those opposites in a way that is unique and logical to its members. He went on to study commonalities between tribal and industrial communities, and a better understanding of universal human patterns of thought. With his research, Claude Levi-Strauss published some of the most influential academic works of the post-war era, including The Savage Mind, Tristes Tropiques and The Elemental Structures of Kinship.

A noted and respected author, teacher, and academic, Claude Levi-Strauss will be remebered for his great contributions to the study of anthropology and the humanities as a whole.


No comments: