Structuralism states we are governed by narrow cultural structures.

I believe post-modernism and post-structuralism acknowledge the existence of this structures as well.

Is the difference in the attitude towards the structure? Like post-modernism wants to deconstruct some category like gender, while structuralism adhere to the natural categorization.

Please correct me, if I made any wrong assumptions.

  • 2
    Yes. Structuralism is "the methodology that implies that elements of human culture must be understood by way of their relationship to a broader system. It works to uncover the structures that underlie all the things that humans do, think, perceive, and feel." Nov 25, 2020 at 14:39
  • Thanks. But what about post-modernism, as far as I understand it also believes in the existence of cultural structures, it just considers them bad. Is the difference in the value judgement.
    – Borut Flis
    Nov 26, 2020 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


To illustrate the difference using two writers usually held up as examples of the respective categories, Claude Lévi-Strauss (Structuralist) tries to demonstrate that the same universal structures, especially binary oppositions, underlie all human thought across different societies. Michel Foucault (Poststructuralist) acknowledges that all societies are governed by a structure (episteme), but doesn't use a universal formula in order to uncover it; thus his studies tend to highlight the unusual.

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