As the term “structuralism” is coined, the question of what the term means to its practitioners is a fraught one.
It’s not a new question, though, as we’ve written about it before.
The term was first coined by a group of scholars and philosophers in the 1960s, who sought to make a clear distinction between the ways in which certain “structures” of the natural sciences are represented, and how they are constituted in the social sciences.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the ways that structuralism informs the discourse of the academic literary theorist and sociologist who has made it his mission to understand the cultural and historical contexts in which the term has been appropriated.
Structuralism is defined as “the idea that the world is a structured system of relations that are structured by and controlled by social forces and ideologies that make up human society,” writes sociologist and linguist David J. Peterson in the book Structures of Power.
This is, in essence, the idea that, at the root of our understanding of social structure is the relationship between people, their relationships to each other, and the ways those relationships are constituted and reproduced.
Structuralism as a term is a fascinating one.
The idea that structures of power are constructed through the social relationships that exist between individuals, and that these structures are socially constructed, are the foundations of structuralism.
Structures are structures.
This concept of structures has come to be associated with the work of sociologist Christopher Hill, whose theory of the social construction of power was influential in the work done by social theorists like James Baldwin and Saul Newman.
Structures of power in the humanities is also a very important concept to be aware of.
The humanities is where social theory, social movements, and theories of oppression have historically come from, and where they are most influential.
In many ways, the humanities are the nexus between social theory and other social movements and theorizations.
In addition to Hill’s theory of social construction, social theorists have used it to conceptualize a wide variety of other social practices and ideas.
Theories of racism, sexism, and homophobia are all forms of social structures constructed through social relations, and are very powerful ways to understand racism, for instance.
Sociologist Sarah Buehler, who has worked on the construction of structures of oppression, has been particularly influenced by the work that Hill did in his work on structuralism, and has been critical of the way that structuralists have framed social relations.
But this is not to say that structuralist theory has not played a part in the theoretical discourses of some of its most important practitioners.
Sociology professor and writer John Zerzan is another scholar whose work has often been influenced by Hill’s work on the social construct of power.
Zerzan has been an active proponent of structuralist theories, and in the past has worked with writers like Maya Angelou, Cornel West, and Emma Goldman to create theoretical discursives on structuralist social theory.
In some ways, Zerzan’s work is similar to Hills work, in that he’s focused on the ways social relations shape the structures of our society.
And although Zerzan does not use Hill’s structuralism in his works, he has been more vocal about how structuralism can inform the way we think about our own social relations than Hills.
Zerzilla’s recent book, The Structure of Power, explores the ways structuralism plays out in everyday conversations in the form of how we use language and how we organize ourselves around our relationships.
The structure of power is the way in which power structures our relationships to others, and this is the idea of a power structure that we use to define ourselves.
Zerzman writes: “The way we talk about power and the way power structures relationships, we define the power that exists within us as our own power structure.”
The structuralism we talk of as “structured” or “structurally organized” is the fact that we’re not just talking about our relations to others but are talking about the relationships that we have with other people.
The way that we talk and think about the power structures that exist within us and that we create within ourselves is also the way structures of control and domination exist.
The structures of domination, power, and oppression are also the ways we construct our social relationships, Zerzon argues.
These social relationships are what shape the structure of social relations that we live in.
When we’re talking about structures of dominance and power, we’re referring to the ways our social relations with other human beings shape and define these relations.
When I’m talking about social structures of the abuse and neglect of women, I’m referring to our social structures that shape our relationships with women and our relationships and power relationships with them.
When they are not used as a tool of domination and control, the structures that are constructed within our relationships are more about how we’re able to protect and support ourselves and our children from the harm and abuse that women suffer at the hands of others. We