Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Claude Levi-Strauss Dies

French-Jewish founder of structuralism was 100

Print Email
Levi-Strauss in 2005(Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Image)

The French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss died this weekend at 100, the office of the president of Paris’s School for the Advanced Studies in Social Sciences announced today. Levi-Strauss pioneered the structuralist approach to anthropology, which holds that myths, involving deeply rooted patterns of language and symbolism, are the building blocks of culture. His ideas, influenced by years field work with Native American and Amazonian tribes, in turn influenced philosophers including Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida.

Levi-Strauss grew up in an assimilated Jewish family in Paris. He fought in the French army at the start of World War II and fled to New York when the Nazis marched into Paris. One of his first works, Race and History, published in 1952, suggests how his wartime experience and his anthropological insights came together: the UNESCO-sponsored project “made the case that fighting the notion that some races are inferior to others also means combating the concept that some societies are culturally superior to others,” as the Forward wrote last year on the occasion of his works being republished in the Gallimard Bibliotheque de la Pleiade series. After returning from New York in the 1950s, Levi-Strauss lived out his life in Paris, where he was a prominent member of the elite Academie Francaise.

Claude Levi-Strauss, Scientist Who Saw Human Doom, Dies at 100 [Bloomberg]
Claude of the Jungle [Forward]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Claude Levi-Strauss Dies

French-Jewish founder of structuralism was 100

More on Tablet:

Tablet’s Poetic Memorial Day Playlist

By Sara Ivry — For all those who’ve died far from their families, and far from peace