In order to gain a clear understanding of the term “binary opposition” it is of primary importance to acknowledge its origins in Saussurean structuralist theory. According to Ferdinand de Saussure, the binary opposition is the “means by which the units of language have value or meaning; each unit is defined against what it is not”. Essentially, the concept of the binary opposition is engendered by the Western propensity to organize everything into a hierarchical structure; terms and concepts are related to positives or negatives, with no apparent latitude for deviation: i.e. Man/Woman, Black/White, Life/Death, Inside/Outside, Presence/Absence, and so on. Thus, the binary opposition is fundamentally a structurally derived …
We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.
Fogarty, Sorcha. "Binary Oppositions". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=122, accessed 22 May 2017.]