HomeDLSU Dialogue: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Cultural Studiesvol. 22 no. 1 (1987)

Reinstating Functionalism in Anthropological Theory

Manuel P. Diaz

Discipline: Anthropology



The paper at hand was originally designed to provide a critical evaluation of what initially appeared to be two rather distinctive applications of premises inherent in currently fashionable theories of communication which were employed in-anthropological interpretation. The argument would have been organized in a manner not unlike that of a boxing match: a point/counterpoint competition arranged according to a limited number of theoretical problems or rounds. In the first corner would have been placed that model of communication which was built upon foundations provided by Saussurian linguistics, augmented by later developments in the field of linguistics, most notable of which are the contributions of such transformational grammarians as Noam Chomsky. It was this model that in modified form would become the armature of structural anthropology as espoused by Levi-Strauss.