Rigor Mortis In Levi Strauss Essay

1940 words - 8 pages

The incest taboo has long proved a problem for social scientists, and it is no different for Levi-Strauss. In numerous articles, Levi-Strauss attempts to reconcile nature and culture in the prohibition against incest. Although he does this effectively, and his conclusion seems valid, the way that he arrives at it opens his work, structuralism, and social science in general up to larger critiques. The critique of social science is not about the conclusions reached but about the seeming inability of the social scientist to overcome or even put through a rigorous and thorough examination the concepts inherent in their work.

Before Levi-Strauss, there were three primary theories put forward to explain the incest. Some, like Westermarck and Ellis, believed that the prohibition derived from an instinctive horror of familial sex inherent in a person's psychology. Others argued that the prohibition was the result of an elementary understanding of eugenics, making people vaguely aware of the potential genetic problems of inbreeding. The third explanation is the closest to what Levi-Strauss eventually arrives at, advanced by Durkheim. He believed that intimate relationships with blood relatives were prohibited because of the connection between blood and the substantiality of the tribal or personal totem. A man engaged in sexual acts with a woman who shares his blood would be in danger of coming into direct physical contact with his own blood, the `substantial expression of his kinship with his totem' (p.20). )

These three approaches have basic defects. Westermarck and Ellis erred in believing that the universality of the incest prohibition was based on an equally universal sentiment (p.17). This sentiment is a variation of the phrase `familiarity breeds contempt'. The idea is that involvement in someone's daily life makes them less attractive; however, this is patently not universal, and Levi-Strauss uses the example of the Chukchee model of marriage to give an example of a culture in which familiarity is considered essential to a long-term caring and sexual relationship. The eugenic explanation cannot adequately account for the incest prohibition since in a small community recessive genes are quickly stabilized and the actual occurrences of genetic anomalies related to inbreeding are extremely rare. Levi-Strauss's objections to the third theory are multiple, and more complicated. His first objection is that Durkheim is positing that all people under go a universal transition from believing the substantiality of the totem to a belief that too close a connection to that totem (through blood) is horrifying. According to Levi-Strauss, history does not work like this - the same events do not always have the same results, and so this positing of a necessary transition is in no way universal. Aside from this, Levi-Strauss refers to the connection as `extrinsic' (Problem of Incest, 24). It is not inherent in the process, but only externally imposed on it....

Find Another Essay On Rigor Mortis in Levi Strauss

Levi Strauss Company and International Markets

1320 words - 6 pages place without a great number of problems or hurdles. The greatest problems a company may encounter could be the moral and social dilemmas that they will encounter every time they get into a new market in a different country. We will talk about this kind of example with the Levi Strauss and Company and the entry into the international markets. Cultural Issues when Facing a Global Organization Levi Strauss and Company, based in San Francisco

The Structural Aproach To Myth Essay

2453 words - 10 pages and weaknesses of the theory, with reference to several other schools of thought.Claude Levi-Strauss had his background in the field of anthropology, and thus was primarily interested in various cultures and societies, specifically primitive cultures. His early anthropological works, such as "˜The Elementary Structures of Kinship' focussed on kinship ritual and relations, a standard anthropological study. Levi-Strauss' work on the

The Structural Aproach To Myth

2451 words - 10 pages complicated subject to examine, but the development of the field in modern times has been swift and highly productive. The key developments of the modern study of myth have been, firstly, the realisation of the importance of myth to both primitive and modern cultures, secondly the development of psychological theory in regard to myth, and thirdly, the "˜structural theory of myth propounded by the great French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss

History of Blue Jeans

2190 words - 9 pages buy indigo and it wasn’t too long before the indigo economy crashed in America because the indigo in India was known to be cheaper and higher quality than the species grown here in America. By the middle of the 19th century, cotton had replaced indigo on the list of exports of South Carolina. Leob Strauss, now known as Levi, was born on February 29, 1829, in Buttenheim, Germany. Levi was born into a large family; he had 6 older siblings. When

Defining Humaness

845 words - 3 pages anthropology. Some reasons for his popularity are identified in his rejection of history and humanism, in his refusal to see Western civilization as unique, in his emphasis on form rather than content and in his insistence that the savage mind is equal to the civilized mind. Levi-Strauss believed that the characteristics of men are identical everywhere. He found this after traveling to many places such as Brazil and visits to North and South American

Forensic Chemistry: Body Decomposition and Estimation of Post-Mortem Interval

1113 words - 5 pages ] The fresh stage begins right after the heart stops beating. When the blood stops being pumped, gravity makes it settle and it changes the color of the skin where it pools, making it purple-red. This is known as livor mortis or hypostasis. [2] Then, rigor mortis occurs. Rigor mortis is the stiffening of the muscles due to the disappareance of ATP (adenosin triphosphate). The proteins responsible for muscle contraction, actin and myosin, need ATP

Blue Jeans, the Ultimate American Icon

1442 words - 6 pages icon. The best way to understand why blue jeans are revered is to first learn about their history. The history of blue jeans began with Levi Strauss. In 1847 Levi Strauss emigrated from Bavaria, now part of southern Germany, to New York. Once news of the Gold Rush reached New York, Levi Strauss packed up his belongings and headed west. In 1853, Levi Strauss reached San Francisco California, where he officially became an American citizen

Levi Strauss Cultural Conflicts

450 words - 2 pages For Levi Strauss & Company, the Japanese market is a highly competitive marketplace with a large population that many North American corporations wish to tap into. The huge population and large buying power is what they want but generally find it difficult to deal with the highly competitive way of business. Japan is a market that is characterized by traditional business ways, with a large portion reflected in the culture.Levi Strauss &amp

Mortuary Science

1905 words - 8 pages . New York: Oxford UP, 2001. Print.) Two to three hours after death, the muscles in the body begin to stiffen. After about twelve to eighteen hours, the body goes completely stiff do to the muscles contracting completely. (http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/death-dying/rigor-mortis-cause.htm) This process of the dead stiffening is referred to as Rigor Mortis which is Latin for “stiffness of death”. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com

Levi Strauss: polarities and deconstruction

1337 words - 5 pages In the book, Introducing Levi-Strauss, Claude Levi-Strauss states his views of structuralism, the systems, and their opposites. He uses polarities to contrast many of the topics he writes about. A polarity, according to Webster's Dictionary, is "the having or showing of contrary qualities, powers, tendencies, forms, etc." Levi-Strauss demonstrates polarities by presenting his idea of "hot" and "cold" societies.The "hot" society is what he said

Levi Strauss Human Resource Management

654 words - 3 pages initiatives distinguish them from others in their industry and in business.According to its mission statement, Levi Strauss balances profitability with product quality and service. The company focuses strategically on satisfying the customers' needs from the stage of product design to its packaging and delivery. To accomplish this aim, large investments are being made in the latest technology, and the company is concentrating its efforts on

Similar Essays

Rigor Mortis Essay

802 words - 4 pages Rigor mortis is the stiffening of the muscles that happens 2-3 hours after a human or animal dies, beginning in the head and then it working its way down to the toes. After 12-18 hours, the body becomes completely stiff and the only way to move any of the joints is to force them, most likely breaking them. After 2 days, rigor mortis begins to wear off, once again starting in the head and then downward towards the toes. Once this process is

Levi Strauss And His World Changing Invention

1074 words - 5 pages rush was growing and many men greatly appreciated the riveted pockets because they did not have to spend more money to continually buy new pants. Levis’ pants were the most widely used pants in California in the 1880s. For many years the pants were continuously used by working men in the field such as for the gold rush. Before Levi Strauss invented blue jeans in California he lived in Bavaria, a small village in Germany during the 1840’s (Our Story

Levi Strauss Essay

812 words - 3 pages Levi Strauss was born in Buttenheim, near the German-Austrian border in the Bavarian Alps. He was the youngest of his six brothers and sisters. Lob Strauss, Levi's real name ,was a peddler of dry goods for most of his childhood. Two years after his father died, Strauss immigrated to New York City.There in the docks of New York Harbor Lob became Levi and as some would say the most famous name in the clothing buisness. In 1847 Levi Strauss moved

Levi Strauss Essay

831 words - 4 pages Claude Levi-Strauss was originally from Brussels and died at the age of 100 in Paris, France. He published many works including Tristes Tropiques which was first published in 1955. I am using the Penguin publication from 1992. In Chapter 38, A Little Glass of Rum, Levi-Strauss discusses the Anthropologist. Mainly that being an Anthropologist can cause these appearances of misconstrued respect for one's own person culture or background that
Estimation Famitsu : 1,3 million de ventes pour le lancement japonais de Smash Bros Ultimate53 | Wo Shi Jiang Xiaobai OVA English Subbed | One Piece 350