Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908–2009): The apotheosis of heroic anthropology (Respond to this article at


  • Albert Doja

    1. Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University College London, and Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the European University, Tirana. He gained his PhD in social anthropology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris in 1993 and is a former research fellow of the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale founded by Claude Lévi-Strauss. He has held several academic positions in France, Britain, Ireland and Albania and in 2008 was elected to the Albanian Academy of Sciences. His email is
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Claude Lévi-Strauss is one of the greatest interdisciplinary writers of the twentieth century whose influence extends far beyond his own discipline of social anthropology. His inquiry illuminates the borderlands between ‘primitive’ and non-primitive, self and other, myth and history, human and animal, art and nature, and the dichotomies that give structure to culture, society, history and agency. This commemorative article of his legacy assesses disciplinary and interdisciplinary debates influenced by Levi-Strauss's inquiry and methods, and looks at potential challenges for the future. Lévi-Strauss's ideas continue to be influential in our assessments of what we mean by culture, values, social organization, including social transformations and cultural ideologies such as ethnocentrism, nationalism, fundamentalism, pluralism, neo-liberalism, post-modernism, relativism, humanism and universalism.