(Note: authorship is arranged stratigraphically with the most recent author listed first)
Structuralism was predominately influenced by the schools of phenomenology and of Gestalt psychology, both of which were fostered in Germany between 1910 and the 1930s (Sturrock 2003: 47). Phenomenology was a school of philosophical thought that attempted to give philosophy a rational, scientific basis. Principally, it was concerned with accurately describing consciousness and abolishing the gulf that had traditionally existed between subject and object of human thought. Consciousness, as they perceived, was always conscious of something, and that picture, that whole, cannot be separated from the object or the subject but is the relationship between them (Sturrock 2003: 50-51). Phenomenology was made manifest in the works of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre among others.
Gestalt psychology maintained that all human conscious experience is patterned, emphasizing that the whole is always greater than the parts, making it a holistic view (Sturrock 2003: 52). It fosters the view that the human mind functions by recognizing or, if none are available, imposing structures.
Structuralism developed as a theoretical framework in linguistics by Ferdinand de Saussure in the late 1920s, early 1930s. De Saussure proposed that languages were constructed of hidden rules that practitioners known but are unable to articulate. In other words, though we may all speak the same language, we are not all able to fully articulate the grammatical rules that govern why we arrange words in the order we do. However, we understand these rules of an implicit (as opposed to explicit) level, and we are aware when we correctly use these rules when we are able to successfully decode what another person is saying to us (Johnson 2007: 91).
Claude Levi-Strauss (1908 to 2009) is widely regarded as the father of structural anthropology. In the 1940s, he proposed that the proper focus of anthropological investigations was on the underlying patterns of human thought that produce the cultural categories that organize worldviews hitherto studied (McGee and Warms, 2004: 345). He believed these processes were not deterministic of culture, but instead, operated within culture. His work was heavily influenced by Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss as well as the Prague School of structural linguistics (organized in 1926) which include Roman Jakobson (1896 to 1982), and Nikolai Troubetzkoy (1890 to 1938). From the latter, he derived the concept of binary contrasts, later referred to in his work as binary oppositions, which became fundamental in his theory.
In 1972, his book Structuralism and Ecology was published detailing the tenets of what would become structural anthropology. In it, he proposed that culture, like language, is composed of hidden rules that govern the behavior of its practitioners. What made cultures unique and different from one another are the hidden rules participants understood but are unable to articulate; thus, the goal of structural anthropology is to identify these rules. He maintained that culture is a dialectic process: thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Levi-Strauss proposed a methodological means of discovering these rules—through the identification of binary oppositions.
The structuralist paradigm in anthropology suggests that the structure of human thought processes is the same in all cultures, and that these mental processes exist in the form of binary oppositions (Winthrop 1991). Some of these oppositions include hot-cold, male-female, culture-nature, and raw-cooked. Structuralists argue that binary oppositions are reflected in various cultural institutions (Lett 1987:80). Anthropologists may discover underlying thought processes by examining such things as kinship, myth, and language. It is proposed, then, that a hidden reality exists beneath all cultural expressions. Structuralists aim to understand the underlying meaning involved in human thought as expressed in cultural acts.
Further, the theoretical approach offered by structuralism emphasizes that elements of culture must be understood in terms of their relationship to the entire system (Rubel and Rosman 1996:1263). This notion, that the whole is greater than the parts, appeals to the Gestalt school of psychology. Essentially, elements of culture are not explanatory in and of themselves, but rather form part of a meaningful system. As an analytical model, structuralism assumes the universality of human thought processes in an effort to explain the “deep structure” or underlying meaning existing in cultural phenomena. “…[S]tructuralism is a set of principles for studying the mental superstructure” (Harris 1979:166, from Lett 1987:101).
Points of Reaction:
Some concerns have been expressed as to the epistemological and theoretical assumptions of structuralism. The validity of structural explanations has been challenged on the grounds that structuralist methods are imprecise and dependent upon the observer (Lett 1987:103). Lett (1987) poses the question of how independent structural analyses of the same phenomena could arrive at the same conclusions. The paradigm of structuralism is primarily concerned with the structure of the human psyche, and it does not address historical aspects or change in culture (Lett 1987, Rubel and Rosman 1996). This synchronic approach, which advocates a “psychic unity” of all human minds, has been criticized because it does not account for individual human action historically.
Maurice Godelier incorporated a dynamic aspect into his structural analysis of Australian marriage-class systems and their relationship to demographic factors (Rubel and Rosman 1996:1269). He did so by incorporating Marxist ideas of structures representing an organized reality and the importance of change in society. Godelier took structuralism a step further with his examination of infrastructural factors. In structuralist thought, inherently conflicting ideas exist in the form of binary oppositions, but these conflicts do not find resolution. In structural Marxist thought, the importance of perpetual change in society is noted: “When internal contradictions between structures or within a structure cannot be overcome, the structure does not reproduce but is transformed or evolves” (Rubel and Rosman 1996:1269). This dialectic accounts for the process of antithesis into thesis into synthesis.
Further, others have criticized structuralism for its lack of concern with human individuality. Cultural relativists are especially critical of this because they believe structural “rationality” depicts human thought as uniform and invariable (Rubel and Rosman 1996).
In addition to those who modified the structuralist paradigm and its critics exists another reaction known as “poststructuralism.” Although poststructuralists are influenced by the structuralist ideas put forth by Lévi-Strauss, their work has more of a reflexive quality. Pierre Bourdieu is a poststructuralist who “…sees structure as a product of human creation, even though the participants may not be conscious of the structure” (Rubel and Rosman 1996:1270). Instead of the structuralist notion of the universality of human thought processes found in the structure of the human mind, Bourdieu proposes that dominant thought processes are a product of society and determine how people act (Rubel and Rosman 1996). However, in poststructuralist methods, the person describing the thought processes of people of another culture may be reduced to just that—description—as interpretation imposes the observer’s perceptions onto the analysis at hand (Rubel and Rosman 1996). Poststructuralism is much like postmodernism in this sense.
Materialists would also generally object to structural explanations in favor of more observable or practical explanations. As Lett (1987) points out, Lévi-Strauss’ analysis of the role of the coyote as trickster in many different Native American mythologies rationalizes that the coyote, because it preys on herbivores and carnivores alike, is associated with agriculture and hunting, and life and death (Lett 1987:104) is thus a deviation from natural order, or abnormal. Lett further shows that a materialist perspective is offered by Marvin Harris in the explanation of the recurrent theme of coyote as trickster: “The coyote enjoys the status of a trickster because it is an intelligent, opportunistic animal” (Lett 1987:104). Lévi-Strauss helped to spawn the rationalist-empiricist debate by furthering the inquiry into the idea of panhuman mental processes, and what determines culture.
Another reaction to structuralism is grounded in scientific inquiry. In any form of responsible inquiry, theories must be falsifiable. Structural analyses do not allow for this or for external validation (Lett 1987). Although these analyses present “complexity of symbolic realms” and “insight about the human condition,” they simply cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny (Lett 1987:108-9).
Scattered in the north-eastern
part of India, Nagas were once headhunters, as they used to cut off the
heads of the enemies and preserve them as trophies
But with the advent of
Christianity and education, the Nagas-comprising more than 30 tribes have
evolved a rich culture and tradition.
Since the Naga tribes have been
known for their pride and independent identity, the process of
politicization led to the urge for creation of separate land for Nagas
Separatist Movement can be traced
back to 1918, with the founding of Naga Club in Kohima by a group of
The Club tendered a memorandum
before the Simon Commission which demanded for exclusion of Nagas
from the proposed constitutional reform in British administration in
nature of protest took a drastic change with the
emerging of Angami Zapu Phizo
In 1946, the Naga Club was
renamed as Nagaland National Council (NNC)
NNC then asked for a separate
sovereign political geography comprising Naga inhabited areas of
Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myammar (Burma), thus marking the
beginning of political conflict between Nagas and the Government of India.
On 14th of August 1947, the NNC
under Phizo's initiation declared independence of Naga region,
thereby resulting in his arrest
he was released in 1950, and
became the president of NNC
Disappointed with his talks with
Nehru, he turned to armed rebellion to sway the Indian government
Indian Army rallied to quash the
rebellion, while Phizo escaped to East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and then
In 1975, an agreement known as
the Shillong Accord was signed between the Indian Government and the NNC.
From the beginning of the crisis, we have called for cessation of violence in all its forms and by all sides
We voted in favour of the resolution in the UN General Assembly that authorized the appointment of an Envoy to engage with the Syrian parties and foreign actors for the resolution of the crisis.
We also supported resolutions 2042 and 2043 in expectation that the establishment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) will be able to oversee the implementation of Mr Annan’s six-point plan
Instead of a political process, parties have continued to pursue a military approach that continues to cause death and destruction in the country
There is an urgent need for the Syrian parties to recommit themselves to the complete cessation of violence and comprehensive implementation of the six-point plan.
Syria has both historically and in contemporary times been an important country in the Middle East. Its role in the Middle East peace process and in the stability of the wider region cannot be overemphasized. Prolonged instability and unrest in Syria, therefore, have ramifications for the entire region and beyond.
it would have been preferable for the Council members to show flexibility so that a united message could be conveyed to all sides to the Syrian crisis instead of pursuance of domestic interests
It is, therefore, regrettable that the Council has not been able to adopt the resolution today and send a joint message
Several people have been
killed and homes of several hundreds torched in ethnic clashes between
Buddhists and the stateless Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State
Who are the Rohingyas?
They are Sunni Muslims and
ethnic minorities in rakhine state
majority population follows
Where did they come from?
Burmese military points to
history, maintaining that the Rohingyas crossed over from present-day
How have the Rohingyas been treated?
Under Pinlon Agreement of
1947 Rakhine was included in
myanmar but the Rohingyas were kept out of nation-building
After a military crackdown in
1978, Rohingyas fled in thousands to Bangladesh
Under world pressure, the
military agreed to their repatriation.
Another crackdown in 1991
again sent Rohingyas across the border
Some 30,000 still live in two
refugee camps in Bangladesh
How did the Rohingyas become stateless?
Burma Citizenship Law of 1982
sought to deny citizenship to people of Indian and Chinese descent and
also targeted the Rohingyas
full citizenship was granted
to people of 135 national races who lived in Burma before 1823 — i.e.
before British colonisation. Rohingyas were not in this list
Spill over effect of rohingya issue on India
Many of these refugees are
without jobs and could fall prey to radical ideologies.
They may join the Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islam
(HuJI) which has been accused of carrying out bomb blasts in Assam.
Another aspect could be the fear of a major spill over of the conflict
into India’s north-east in terms of refugee flow from across the porous
Q. For Weber,
bureaucracy emerged as a neutral , hierarchically organized , efficient and
inevitable in contemporary society 15 M
Weber conceptualized theory of bureaucracy in 19th
century german society which was going through a political chaos. He considered
bureaucracy as a legal rational authority capable of delivering a stable
administration. Weber considered following as important characteristics of
Hierarchically structured organization
facilitated in clear definition of roles and responsibilities for various
positions in an organization. Neutrality ensured that decisions were made on an
objective and rational basis. It insulated bureaucracy from political
executive. Bureaucracy with these characteristics delivered stable and
efficient administration in germany. Soon it was adopted by various countries. Hence
bureaucracy emerged as an inevitable and efficient form of administration in 19th
over a period of time, the evils of bureaucracy like goal displacement, stratus
quoist orientation emerged. This led to rise of post bureaucratic organizations
to address the deficiencies in bureaucratic organizations. However certain
features of bureaucracy like impersonality, anonymity are still relevant to 21st
Unlikely in the near future.The fallout of Greeces exit would be
more painful than negotiating fresh conditions under which the austerity measures and repayment obligations could be eased.Any exit has to be voluntary as no country can be pushed out.
WHAT HAS CHANGED POLITICALLY FOR GREECE
New French President Francois Hollande has hinted at some relief
for Greece as he stands for liberal government spending rather than austerity.Even Chancellor Angela Merkel,who has been the prime mover of the austerity drive,could agree to climb down as a possible Greek exit could hurt German companies and banks and her country would lose all economic benefits it gained from the single currency.
Its banking system will collapse,with depositors pulling out funds and banks ownership of Greek bonds becoming worthless.Bank funding will dry up as ECB wont lend anymore.Creation of a new currency,or the return to its old drachma,will lead to depreciation of as high as 80%.That would bloat debt and make imports impossible,causing job losses & poverty.
WHAT IF THE BANKING SYSTEM COLLAPSES
The contagion will spread since faith in the euro would vanish.Peripheral countries such as Portugal and Spain,where the banking system is perceived to be weak,will also come under assault as people will pull out funds.Once the contagion spreads,the financial markets will seize up.
CAN GREECE GAIN FROM TRADE IF CURRENCY FALLS
Once it pulls out of the euro zone,its trade with other countries will face tariffs.Movement of capital and labour will also be restricted,causing more pain.
HOW MUCH IT NEEDS TO REPAY DEBT
Greece will need around 20 -28 billion a year until 2016.Thereafter,the funding requirements could fall below 20 billion and converge towards 10 billion.Under this scenario,bailout III would require around 110 billion from 2015-2020,according to RBS.
IS AN ORDERLY EXIT POSSIBLE
No.Approximately 20% of the worlds reserves are in euros,and a larger notional amount of euro swaps are traded than dollar swaps.An exit would almost automatically be disorderly as different laws govern different contracts.
preservatives do? They keep foods fresh and inhibit the growth of
bacteria, yeasts or molds.
can be grouped into three general types: antimicrobials that block growth
of bacteria, molds or yeasts; antioxidants that slow oxidation of fats and
lipids that leads to rancidity, and a third type that fights enzymes that
promote the natural ripening that occurs after fruits or vegetables are
are molecules with one water-loving (hydrophilic) and one oil-loving
(hydrophobic) end. They make it possible for water and oil to become
finely dispersed in each other, creating a stable, homogenous, smooth
applications of emulsifiers
In bread emulsifier
added to the dough is enough to achieve an enhanced volume, a softer crumb
structure and a longer shelf-life
emulsifiers are added to provide the right consistency of the chocolate,
so it can be moulded into plates of chocolate, chocolate bars etc.