Formation and development of symbolic anthropology, the formation...

Formation and development of symbolic anthropology

The formation of a symbolic approach in humanitarian knowledge.

The development of humanitarian knowledge in the XX century. led to the formation of the theory of symbolic forms , through which the human consciousness maintains a constant connection with the surrounding world. All forms of social activity are to some extent permeated with symbolism. The Greek symbolon (sign, identifying sign) indicates the unity and comparison of different representations corresponding to the two realms of reality. In particular, in the symbol, the of the ideal constructions of the human consciousness comes into contact with this or that object's (i.e.

The theoretical concept of the German philosopher E. Cassirer (1874-1945) played an important role in the development of the symbolic approach. The world of human culture becomes in Cassirer the product of the symbolic activity of people, expressed in the forms of language, myth, science, art as a way of spiritual formation. Each symbolic form gives one or another vision of the world, but among them one can not single out a privileged, or "correct".

For Cassirer, the symbol becomes the key to human nature. He believes that the person "is so immersed in linguistic forms, artistic images, mythical symbols or religious rituals that he can not see and know without this artificial intermediary" .

The cultural concept of K. Levi-Strauss, we also considered from the standpoint of the analysis of primitive thinking, and from the point of view of the structuralist approach. However, his concept can also be considered from the standpoint of anthropological symbolism. Levi-Strauss treats the content of culture "as an ensemble of symbolic systems", to which, above all, language, marital rules, art, science, religion. These symbolic systems within each given society always remain, to a certain extent, incommensurable, they are characterized by a different rhythm of evolution, and it is this unevenness in the variation of various symbolic systems that ultimately determines the slippage of the social structure, the transition from one state of society to another. .

One of the founders of symbolic anthropology is called the British anthropologist Victor Witter Turner (1920 1983). He began his scientific work as an ethnographer-africanist, studying the Ndembu people in the field. His attention is focused on symbolic systems that unite human communities into various more or less stable forms. Symbols and symbol systems, the symbolic classifications for Turner are not static: they are included in the action (custom, ritual, ceremonial, social conflict, social movement) and in this sense must be understood in their actual work, in "execution", in concreteness and dynamics. Over time, he began to apply his approach to the study of carnival in Brazil, to analyze medieval religious movements, the traditional Japanese theater, the ideology of the hippie movement and even to explore the works of Dostoevsky and Chekhov.

However, the most developed form of symbolic anthropology acquires in the scientific work of the American culturologist L. White.

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