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structuralism

Structuralism is a mode of research that assumes that social behaviors and cultural products can be described and investigated as if they were a language and a communication code. Those behaviors that are explicitly allowed, forbidden, or prescribed in a social system are thought to be traceable to the abstract system of rules (unconscious algebra) upon which they are based. In particular, the internal logic of rituals and myths that determine the daily living, thinking, and feeling in a social system can be elucidated.
Credit

Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)