Claude Levi-Strauss BY Grace Chadwick
Early Life: Full name: Claude Levi-Strauss Born: 27 November 1908 in Brussels, Belgium He was a French anthropologist and is the author of his famous book Tristes Tropiques. He became one of the central figures in the structuralist school of thought, where his ideas reached into fields including the humanities, sociology and philosophy.
Theory: Levi-Strauss is the creator of the ‘Binary Oppositions’ theory. They realised that words merely act as symbols for society's ideas and that the meaning of words, therefore, was a relationship rather than a fixed thing: a relationship between opposing ideas. He argued that all construction of meaning was dependent, to some degree, on these oppositions.
Theory: This basically means that every storyline has to have a serious of contrasts such as good/evil, weak/strong and beautiful/ugly in order to make the plot work. He found that one side of the binary pair is always seen by a particular society or culture as more valued over the other.