Short essay on Structural Marxism

What both structuralists and Marxists reject are the empiricist defini­tions of what constitutes a social structure?

Both Marx and Levi-Strauss agree that social structure is not a re­ality that is directly visible and so directly observable, but a lever of reality that exists beyond the visible relations between men and the functioning of which constitutes the underlying logic of the system.

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The apparent social relations are explained through the hidden struc­ture.

Godelier has followed the Marxian approach. In his analysis of structuralism he goes beyond Marxism. He argues that what we see and observe is not the real social structure. It is deeper in the mind and needs to be explored for understanding the social reality. He says:

What is visible is a reality conceding another, deeper reality which is hidden and the discovery of which is the very purpose of scientific cognition.

It should be mentioned here that structural Marxism did not take to linguistic structuralism. Though there are similarities between gen­eral structuralism and Marxian structuralism, there is a conspicuous difference also.

Structural Marxism did not participate in the linguistic turn which took place in social sciences. For example, the focal con­cern continued to be social and economic, not linguistic structures. Moreover, structural Marxism continued to be associated with Marx­ian theory.