French theory is an informal designation. It does not indicate a systematized or formal body of thought, but instead refers to the group of thinkers and the intellectual developments they contributed to in the aftermath of World War II. The most important of these developments was the emergence of structuralism, a trans-disciplinary movement that took different orders of symbolic meaning as its primary object of study. This approach largely began outside and along the margins of the French academy. Although structuralism is best known as one of the defining developments of post-war French theory, it also has a varied history that originates in the field of linguistics and the turn-of-the-century work of Swiss scholar Ferdinand de Saussure. Lvi-Strauss imported Saussure's linguistic model and made it a foundation for post-war French theory. French theory also resonated because of its association with a series of broader social transition. French theory represents a more general shift away from the cinema aesthetic merits.