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History of Structuralism

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In the first volume of this work, Dossé (director, Paris Center for Critical Studies) chronicles with superb documentation the development of the structuralist movement as it was propelled by such forces as Claude Lévi-Strauss (in anthropology), Jacque Lacan (in psychoanalysis), Michel Foucault (in literature and history), and many other French social scientists and humanists. Structuralism emerged as a reaction against the French university system's rigidity and refusal to accept, as philologist Leo Spitzer observed, Anglo-Saxon New Criticism and other didactic methodologies. Then it spread to other countries, for example, American universities' foreign language departments in the late Sixties. Dossé's unnecessarily tedious, long second volume, The Sign Sets, 1967-Present, succeeds only insofar as it demonstrates how structuralism during the Eighties was relegated to its proper place in the university curriculum as just another alternative methodology. Glassman's adept translation will prove useful to social science scholars and humanists.‘Robert T. Ivey, Univ. of Memphis, Tenn.

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