By Lévi-Strauss, Claude; Jacobson, Claire; Schoepf, Brooke Grundfest
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The historical validity of the naturalist’s reconstructions is guaranteed, in the final analysis, by the biological link of reproduction. An ax, on the contrary, does not generate another ax. There will always be a basic difference between two identical tools, or two tools which differ in function but are similar in form, because one does not stem from the other; rather, each of them is the product of a system of representations. Thus the European fork and the Polynesian fork (which is used in ritual meals) do not constitute a species, any more than do the straws through which one sips lemonade at a café, the “bombilla” to drink maté, and the drinking tubes used for ritual purposes by some American Indian tribes.
Drawing representing a figure with a painted face, Caduveo IX. Jade figure (tiki), New Zealand X. Wood carving, Maori XI. Head ornament, Northwest Coast XII. Three tattooing designs carved in wood, Maori XIII. Three wood carvings, Maori Structural Anthropology CHAPTER I Introduction: History and Anthropology MORE THAN A HALF-CENTURY has elapsed since Hauser and Simiand formulated and contrasted the principles and methods which seemed to them to distinguish history from sociology. 1 While the two authors agreed on the contrasting nature of these disciplines, they diverged in evaluating the respective merits of each method.
The issue can thus be reduced to the relationship between history and ethnology in the strict sense. We propose to show that the fundamental difference between the two disciplines is not one of subject, of goal, or of method. They share the same subject, which is social life; the same goal, which is a better understanding of man; and, in fact, the same method, in which only the proportion of research techniques varies. They differ, principally, in their choice of complementary perspectives: History organizes its data in relation to conscious expressions of social life, while anthropology proceeds by examining its unconscious foundations.
Structural anthropology by Lévi-Strauss, Claude; Jacobson, Claire; Schoepf, Brooke Grundfest