The Symbolic Order

(718 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The “Symbolic Order” achieved its currency in Anglo-Saxon human sciences by way of Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic theory but originated in Claude Lévi-Strauss's Les structures élémentaires de la parenté (1949) [translated into English as Elementary Structures of Kinship, 1969] which used the term to group the many different codes which constitute human societies—from social identities and kinship relations to cooking and feasting rituals and religious observances—in short all cultural practices and inscriptions, whatever their language. Lévi-Strauss showed that patterns we can observe in one level are invariably linked to and determined by similar patterns in other levels. Lévi-Strauss would appear to h…

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Citation:
Clark, Robert. "The Symbolic Order". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 March 2004; last revised 06 January 2009.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1082, accessed 21 August 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. Psychoanalysis