Reference Entry

Lévi-Strauss, Claude

Jeremy MacClancy

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T050737

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(b Brussels, Nov 28, 1908; d Paris, Oct 31, 2009)

French social anthropologist. The son of an artist and graduate in philosophy at the University of Paris, he was associated with the intellectual circle around Jean-Paul Sartre in the early 1930s. After teaching in a school for two years, he worked as a professor of sociology in the University of São Paulo, Brazil (1934–7), and then conducted fieldwork in the Brazilian interior. During World War II he was a member of the Surrealist circle exiled in New York and taught at the New School for Social Research. He was made Director of Studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris in 1950, and in 1959 he became the first ever Professor of Social Anthropology at the Collège de France.

In order to bring order and precision to social anthropology, Lévi-Strauss propounded his own particular, highly influential brand of Structuralism, which has had a profound influence on the study of anthropology and art history. Drawing on cybernetics, information theory and the structural ...

Reference Entry.  868 words. 

Subjects: 20th-Century Art

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