STRUCTURALISM & POST- STRUCTURALISM
Structuralism is a scientific theory that is settled on realism. The ‘structure’ refers that main body and its elements are connected to each other, but a whole which is more than the total of its elements. Structuralism contains the language to understand the main body of system and also language is considered as a method that enlightened the social issues. Shortly, the structuralism is a scientific branch that is interested in the sub- branches in a culture in a society. Until the recent times, there is no concept like ‘structuralist philosophy’, but there have been some other concepts like sociology, physiology. The great structuralits are Jacokbson Saussure, Levi- Strauss, j. Lacan, M. Foucault, L. Althusser.
Structuralism shows itself in the end of 19. century and in the beginning of the 20. century with ‘form’ theory (Gestalttheorie) by Ehrenfels, Wertheimer, Köhler and Koffka. As an example to explain the ‘form’ theory, we can talk about melody that can be identified as a whole of notes and more than these notes itself.
Also, structuralism is a trend which is used most of time in mathematics, language, culture and the analysis of society. Despite of the fact that there is no a school that contains structuralism and its main concepts, Ferdinand de Saussure’s works about this issue can be considered as a beginning point of this trend. Addition to this, structuralism is a thought of the existence and words are signs, sound is signifier and finally, meaning is signified.
When it comes to the post- structuralism, in contrast to the structuralism, sign tells another signs and there is no signified of signs. Also, language includes the oppositions that we can consider like the language is a structure out of human beings; words are the mental concepts that are occurred from language.
The thoughts in the post- structuralism are crucial for sociology and there are two aspects of these issues: First one is the development of new methods for old problems about ideological concepts. Second one is the encouraging apocalyptic thoughts about the impossibility of sociology.
Therefore, post- structuralism has been born against the structuralist linguistics by Ferdinand de Saussure and it brings in acceleration the thought under the pressure of the French Revolution and French philosophy. In the most general description of the post- structuralism, we can say that the ‘linguistic bend’ that occurs from language for again the language as all thinkers consider.
As a last point, the ‘perspectivism’ of Nietzsche, the ‘rationalism’ of Foucault, the ‘sociology’ of Levi-Strauss, the ‘psychology’ of Jacques Lacan and lastly the ‘language’ of Roland Barthes are also so useful fort he development of the ‘post- structuralism.