What problems has post-structuralism raised about the nature of anthropology’s object of study?
I have come to the conclusion finally that anthropology, whether it started out that way or not has become the academic study of why things are the way they are. Post-structuralism has decentred the dominant paradigm in presenting the idea that perhaps the rational self is not the reason things are the way they are, rather we may have been misguided by building upon Greco-Roman philosophical thought and it is time to re-evaluate and restructure the way one may collect and qualify knowledge.
Post-Structuralism is a misleading term, it does not refer to a singular school of thought, but rather the title Post-Structuralist is given to any thinker who has commented on society after and in a different way than Levi-Strauss. The thing that the Post-Structuralist theorists that I will be discussing in this paper have in common is that they all argue for a total rethinking of western philosophy, a reformulation of the global paradigm, post-structuralism is a philosophy of philosophy itself. The thinkers I discuss in this essay cut across traditional discipline boundaries, they often don’t fit in to one academic category making it difficult to refer to them collectively. The problem that this has raised for anthropology is in doing away with the traditional western Greco-Roman philosophy we also to a certain extent do away with the self. Foucault, Baudrillard, Derrida and Deleuze have different ways of arguing it, but all of their comments are not focused on the self but the structures in which we find ourselves. It would appear that anthropology may have hit another impasse of a Post-Structuralist nature, rather than a post-colonial one. For if we have collected our knowledge in the wrong way all this time then really we have very little valid information on how academia and indeed society as we know it has come to be as it is now.
One cannot however forget that...