Claude Lévi-Strauss — the French structuralist anthropologist who was a leading light of the 1950s and 1960s — has passed away at the age of 100. Here are obituaries by Le Monde and by the New York Times.
According to the Times, “Levi-Strauss was widely regarded as having reshaped the field of anthropology, introducing new concepts concerning common patterns of behavior and thought, especially myths, in primitive and modern societies. During his 6-decade-long career, he authored many literary and anthropological classics, including ”Tristes Tropiques” (1955), ”The Savage Mind” (1963) and ”The Raw and the Cooked” (1964).
Claude 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. Continue reading Lévi-Strauss Turns 100 →