The foundation of most of Levi-Strauss' work is his principle that all cultures order things into systems and that the characteristics of man are collectively indistinguishable, regardless of location and culture.  He applied his principles to the study of indigenous cultures and mythology and cultural taboos in particular.

Most notably, Levi-Strauss maintained that what we commonly perceive as a progression of thought from primitive towards advanced (mythical to scientific) is not an example of one prevailing over the other, but instead two autonomous and equally valid modes of thought.

Levi-Strauss' studies have influenced such prominent writers/philosophers as Joseph Campbell, Roland Barthes and Louis Althusser.