Of literature, structuralism and semiotics are the analysis of underlying rules and conventions that enable language to operate. They focus on language rather than speech. It is the doctrine that structure is more important than function. They are interested in the synchronic, that which exists at a particular point in time, and not the diachronic, that which changes over time. Structuralism is a method of interpretation and analysis of aspects of human cognition, behavior, culture, and experience, which focuses on relationships of contrasting elements in a conceptual system. They prefer the subject and subjectivity more than the object and objectivity. Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure, and extended into anthropology by Claude Lévi-Strauss, structuralism was adapted to a wide range of social and cultural studies, especially in the 1960s, by writers such as Roland Barthes, Louis Althusser, and Jacques Lacan.
From structuralism grew semiotics―the study of sign and sign processes, designation, indications, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, and signification. It is divided into three branches―semantics, syntactic, and pragmatics. Semantics is the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. The syntactic is according to syntax, the arrangement of words and phrases to create well formed sentences. Pragmatics is the context in which words are used, including deixis―the function or use of deictic words, which relate to or denote a word or expression whose meaning is dependent on the context.
Structuralism and semiotics may consider the system of fashion. Most people understand that sneakers are not to be worn with a tuxedo. Although few individuals could supply a complete list of fashion faux pas, structuralism and semiotics purpose is to create a list, in this case, of faux pas for the system of fashion. Another example―most stories can be reduced to one of a few basic plots, and most characters are variations on a few different types, which structuralism aims to inventory.
Leitch, Vincent B., ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2010.
1st. Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/theory-and-criticism-by-julie-renee.html
2nd. What is Interpretation? @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/what-is-interpretation-by-julie-renee.html
3rd. What is Literature? @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/what-is-literature.html
4th. Classical Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/classical-theory-and-criticism.html
5th. Medieval Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/medieval-theory-and-criticism-by-julie.html
6th. Renaissance and Neoclassical Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/renaissance-and-neoclassical-theory-and.html
7th. Romanticism Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/romanticism-theory-and-criticism-by.html
8th. Marxism Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/marxism-theory-and-criticism-by-julie.html
9th. Psychoanalysis Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/psychoanalysis-theory-and-criticism-by.html
10th. Formalism Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/formalism-theory-and-criticism-by-julie.html
11th. Reader Response Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/06/reader-response-theory-and-criticism-by.html
12th. Structuralism and Semiotics Theory and Criticism @ this publication.
13th. Post Structuralism and Deconstruction Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/07/post-structuralism-and-deconstruction.html
14th. Feminism Theory and Criticism @ http://www.dantealighierithedivinecomedy.com/2012/07/post-structuralism-and-deconstruction.html