Structuralism was not an important intellectual development. Neither was deconstruction, or post-colonialism, or new historicism, the other academic fads to which Eakin genuflects. One and all they were—they continue to be—intellectual con-games, utterly void of merit except as tools of obfuscation and intellectual corruption. (They can also help in the campaign to obtain tenure, but that is a separate matter.)
Unfortunately, preposterousness has never been a barrier to effectiveness. There are plenty of ideas that are fatuous, wrongheaded, or simply ridiculous that nevertheless have a great and baneful influence on the world.