The first thing we are going to indicate is that structuralism is a word formed from different lexical components of Latin. Specifically, it is the result of the sum of these elements:
-The noun “structure”, which can be translated as “result of building”.
-The suffix “-ismo”, which is used to indicate “doctrine”.
-The suffix “-al”, which means “relative to”.
The structuralism is an approach of the science which is based on the consideration of data sets as structures. This method takes the interrelated information as systems.
Through the tools of structuralism it is possible to analyze various aspects of the society, culture and language, for example. Structuralists study specific fields as structures whose components are related to each other. It is within these structures where meanings.
According to structuralism, meaning is produced and reproduced through actions and practices that form a unit. Linguistics, literature, Anthropology and mathematics are some fields of knowledge where structuralist principles were applied.
In the field of linguistics, the structuralism of Ferdinand de Saussure marked the beginning of the modern consideration of this science. The “General linguistics course” published by his disciples based on their classes is considered a key work.
Structuralism maintains that linguistic elements maintain a bond of dependence and solidarity that leads to the development of a system (the tongue). The units of language, in this framework, can only be defined from their relationships.
In the same way, we cannot forget to emphasize the existence of what is known as Lévi-Strauss structuralism. Specifically, what this French philosopher did was apply his ideas and analysis to the field of anthropology. Thanks to this, among other things, he was able to establish a revolutionary method to, for example, interpret myths, to explain what the functioning of society was and even to discover what the main systems of thought were.
Specifically, thanks to structuralism, he studied in depth the prevailing social organization in tribes in both North America and Brazil. And a good example of this work were publications such as “Tristes tropics” (1955) or “The structures of kinship” (1949).
In the anthropology, structuralism is a current that addresses social phenomena as symbol or sign structures. For this reason, these phenomena should not be studied as events: they must be considered as meanings.
Likewise, we cannot ignore the fact that structuralism has also influenced other areas or sectors. A good example of this is that, in the same way, it had its presence in the art world, which it considered a merely semiological fact. Figures such as Charles Morris or Umberto Eco have played an essential role in this line.
At the economic level, finally, structuralism or developmentalism is the theory which postulates that the global economic order is a scheme that has industrial power in the center and agricultural economies in the periphery. This order generates a structural deterioration in trade relations that affects peripheral nations.