From structuralism to poststructuralism
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As the immediate precursor to poststructuralism, the movement or paradigm of structuralism was naturally responsible for determining many of poststructuralism’s salient features. But what was structuralism, and how are we to understand its transformation into poststructuralism? In this chapter I will address these issues by first outlining the contours of what might be called the image of structuralism. An appreciation of this image is necessary for a full understanding of the shift from structuralism to poststructuralism. Nevertheless, an acknowledgement of its limitations, of the inconsistencies it suppresses and the inaccuracies it perpetrates, is equally necessary. As I will therefore demonstrate, alongside the formation and propagation of the classical structuralist image runs a history of its transformation – a history of those aspects and individuals who subverted the image of structuralism in one way or other, as it was in the process of emerging.
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