Perspectives on Émile Durkheim


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Essay #: 063113
Total text length is 4,855 characters (approximately 3.3 pages).

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The beginning:
Perspectives on Émile Durkheim
Part One: Comparisons and Contrasts with Victor Turner
Victor Turner utilized a similar approach to Émile Durkheim, perhaps more rooted in the symbolic rather than functional perspective. Turner examined behavior from the particular vantage of observing and analyzing ritual among the Ndembu of Zambia. He found that the symbol is “the ultimate unit of specific structure in a ritual context” (Turner 357). Turner believed that the study of ritual symbolism would “assist the anthropologist by examining the nature and interconnections of the data clustered at the sensory pole of ritual symbolism” (Turner 373).
Turner identified a hierarchy of symbols and described the paramount component to be the dominant symbol....
The end:
..... difference is that Durkheim looked at society with a greater external of the structure and its functional relationship. Lévi-Strauss took a decidedly more internal view of society by examining the specifics of reciprocity and structure and attributing it to a basic system of opposites as modeled on the Saussure position on langue and parole.
Works Cited
Durkheim, Émile. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Trans.
Karen Fields. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1995. Print.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Structural Anthropology. Garden City, NY:
Anchor Books, 1967. Print.
Turner, Victor. “Symbols in Ndembu Ritual.” Readings for a
History of Anthropology. Eds. Paul Erickson and Liam Murphy. Toronto, Canada: Broadview Press, 2001. 357-382.