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About racism, his powerful Book "Race et Histoire" is a must read.

Race et Histoire

La pente naturelle d'un individu tend vers l'ethnocentrisme, c'est-à-dire qu'il tend à considérer sa culture comme la Culture. Cela consiste à « répudier purement et simplement les formes culturelles : morales, religieuses, sociales, esthétiques, qui sont les plus éloignées de celles auxquelles nous nous identifions. »

...Cette attitude est paradoxale car « en refusant l'humanité à ceux qui apparaissent comme les plus sauvages ou barbares de ses représentants, on ne fait que leur emprunter une de leurs attitudes typiques. »
...
En réalité chaque culture possède une histoire, sans que l'on puisse affirmer dans l'absolu qu'une culture soit plus ou moins avancée qu'une autre. « En vérité, il n'existe pas de peuples enfants ; tous sont adultes, même ceux qui n'ont pas tenu le journal de leur enfance et de leur adolescence. »

I think that, together with Structuralism, his major contribution was to initiate a profound paradigm change: after Lévi-Straus, the colonial vision of the world, which was still dominant, including among the intellectual elites, was definitely discredited. He owed a lot to Marcel Mauss, too.

See also "Race et Culture"

   

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 06:54:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Melanchthon:
En réalité chaque culture possède une histoire, sans que l'on puisse affirmer dans l'absolu qu'une culture soit plus ou moins avancée qu'une autre. « En vérité, il n'existe pas de peuples enfants ; tous sont adultes
The same can be said of biological evolution. More complex life forms are no more or less evolved than simpler ones. The simple life forms of today are very advanced compared to their ancestors (hundreds of) millions of years ago. The conventional representation of evolution with Man at the pinnacle, or of trophic dynamics as a "chain" or a pyramid is also wrong in the same way.

Maybe we need to convince the Serious people that the same is true of economic organization and that a less sophisticated economy is not necessarily less mature or in need of overhaul. We see what "financial innovation" has wrought.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 08:47:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, man is little more than a local trend. Bacteria run the biomass show- even worms beat us.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is good to remember that bacteria rule this world and worms run it.

We are the pinnacle of... nothing.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 12:10:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are the pinnacle of... nothing.

Yet another myth paradigm to kick around.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More complex technology doe snto mean more complex sexual relation, world view or kinship structure.

More complex technology and economy means just that, more complex technology...and, as you say and I now steal, less complex does not mean less mature. Sometimes more complex means less robust...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 12:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kcurie:
Sometimes more complex means less robust...
Always, always...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 12:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know a couple of exceptions :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 01:43:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He not only discredited the colonial view with his scientific approach, but also show us a common denominator for all people, a positive manifesto, if you will. We are ruled by the structural myths we think, no matter where we come... we all act differently but we all have a bunch of things which are essentially the same.

Not to mention how useful is this knowledge to understand the world inside the "old metropoli".

And Marcel Mauss was the author of the most important book ever written in french...sur le don is still a masterpiece. Who can understand the present world without it? He was Levi-Strauss baseline, as now Levi-Strauss is the baseline of a whole new set of socioligists.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 12:15:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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