Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908- ) (recall introduction by Jakobson to de Saussure's structuralism) French anthropologist, found parallels between linguistics and recent developments in anthropology, which were challenging of the notion of culture as disseminated from the master races; and of looking idealised justifications for white supremacy. Sociology of Emile Durkheim suggested an alternative ``functionalist'' approach: looking at the rituals, taboos, and mores of primitive societies non-judgementally, from the standpoint of their functionality to those societies. (see Marcel Mauss and Bronislaw Malinowski above, also Radcliffe-Brown, E.E. Evans-Pritchard)
Lévi-Strauss used de Saussure's approach in linguistics to go further than Durkheim's functionalism. Not just language, but all culture could be seen as a code of meaning in de Saussure's sense. Though the functionalist approach, by isolating particular institutions in a culture, tried to find parallels between those and modern institutions (so E.E. Evans-Pritchard saw Azande Witchcraft as their version of medicine, fulfilling the function of science, but in the social sphere), yet other cultures were still seen simply as versions of Western culture. By looking at the entire cultural code of a culture, the way that its different mores and taboos interact and support each other, Levi-Strauss was able to develop a fuller understanding.
Western civilisation is not privileged/ unique; savage mind is equal to civilised mind.
Emphasis on form over content. Structural analyses of myth-making.
Lévi-Strauss influenced in Anthropology the post-war New School in New York, Evans-Pritchard in England and Pierre Bourdieu in Algeria.