A sign has no meaning in isolation, but only as part of a system of signs and differences. Structuralism identifies these systems that exist below the level of consciousness, and thus attempts to delineate the structure of cognition in terms of the collective unconscious. In other words, it is Kant without the subject. Originally applied in linguistics, and later extended to anthropology and cultural studies. See also post-structuralism.

Structuralism is a sociological grouping of theories which relate to the same conception of individual and society.

The group includes those theories which ascribe to society the cause of the nature of that society. It describes society as deterministic, controlling individuals by the process of socialisation in which they learn the "script" of society.

In other words, structuralist theorists study society as a whole and firmly believe that it is society which shapes the individual.

Theories included in the structuralist set are Functionalism, Marxism and Marxist Feminism.

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