Claude Lévi-Strauss

Claude Lévi-Strauss:A Critical Study of His Thought

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One of the world’s leading anthropologists assesses the work of the founder of structural anthropology

Anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss was among the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. In this rigorous study, Maurice Godelier traces the evolution of his thought. Focusing primarily on Lévi-Strauss’s analysis of kinship and myth, Godelier provides an assessment of his intellectual achievements and legacy. Meticulously researched, Lévi-Strauss is written in a clear and accessible style. The culmination of decades of engagement with Lévi-Strauss’s work, this book will prove indispensible to students of his thought and structural anthropology more generally.

Reviews

  • Praise for The Metamorphoses of Kinship

    This is a blockbuster of a book. Nothing like it has been written since Lévi-Strauss’s Structures élémentaires de la parenté (1949) or Meyer Fortes’s Kinship and the Social Order (1969). Yet in the sweep of its evidence and argument, Godelier’s summa is more ambitious and far-reaching than either of these. It is at once a major intervention in the discipline of anthropology, and a work of the widest human interest. Kinship has the reputation of being the most technical department of anthropology, the least accessible to a general public. But while Métamorphoses synthesizes a huge range of complex materials, it is written in an unfailingly lucid style that makes no assumptions of professional familiarity with terms and debates about kinship, but always takes care to explain them in language anyone can understand. The book is both a monument of scholarship and agripping set of reflections on universal experience. It is certain to be read and discussed for years to come.

    Jack GoodyNew Left Review
  • Praise for The Metamorphoses of Kinship


    Godelier has reasserted the value of our rich tradition of discussions of kinship matters. He has also shown how the category has metamorphosed as it has drawn in new issues of pressing current importance in modern life and made his case that, far from being genuinely in decline, the study of kinship is central to our understanding of what it means to be human.

    Robert H. BarnesComparative Studies in Society and History
  • Praise for The Metamorphoses of Kinship


    It is this constellation of world views and ways of being that we meet in Maurice Godelier’s powerful and often provocative new book, The Metamorphoses of Kinship. In this timely and challenging study, Godelier heralds the revival of kinship studies within the discipline of anthropology. In striking and elucidating prose, Godelier writes both for the trained anthropologist and for the general public. This is a book that aims to introduce the merits of anthropology to a broader readership.

    With singular conviction and remarkable depth, Godelier traces anthropology’s long courtship with kinship studies…a hopeful and compelling read.

    Fiona MurphyIrish Times