Lévi-Strauss Turns 100

Clause Levi-StraussClaude Lévi-Strauss turned 100 years old yesterday. The French thinker revolutionized anthropology in the 1950s by bringing to it the tools of Ferdinand de Saussure‘s structural linguistics. His most famous studies were of family kinship patterns and of symbolic meanings in myth. In the 1960s, Lévi-Strauss, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, and Jacques Lacan formed the most famous grouping of French intellectuals in the world, celebrated in the 1967 cartoon by Maurice Henry below. They were seen as successors to (and, in some ways, opponents of) the equally famous earlier grouping of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

The basic Wikipedia entry on him is here.

A National Public Radio (US) report in honor of his birthday is here.

A commemorative article (in French) from Le Monde is here.

The New York Times, astonishingly, seems to have nothing on the topic.

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.

3 thoughts on “Lévi-Strauss Turns 100

  1. I’d just be happy if people would stop calling him L[ee]v[eye] Strauss (who makes serviceable if not terribly fashionable jeans); and correctly called him Lev[ee] Strauss who, despite the protestations of his family, made no jeans at all.

  2. I would like to ask for a suggestion about book(s) of Levi-Strauss that are important to Psychology. I’m a beginner student and he has an extensive list of books. Thank you.

  3. Lévi-Strauss and Jean Piaget criticized each others’ work extensively. The interviews by Grinevald, published in New Ideas in Psychology in 1983, might therefore be a better place to start.

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