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century and, above all, World War II. The changing methods and interpretations nonetheless conﬁrm the central role of parliaments in this culture. See also: Citizenship, Historical Development of; Democracy, History of; Parliamentary Government; Political History (History of Politics); Political Parties, History of; Public Sphere: Nineteenth- and Twentiethcentury History
The History of Parliament 1998 (CD-Rom Edition: House of Commons). Cambridge, UK The Journal of Legislati e Studies 1995 Frank Cass, London VV. AA. 1963–1984 Storia del Parlamento Italiano. S. F. Flaccovio, Palermo
E. C. de Rezende Martins
Parsons, Talcott (1902–79)
From the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, Talcott Parsons was the single most inﬂuential social theorist in the world. A developer of what is now popularly called ‘action theory,’ ‘functionalism,’ and ‘structural-functionalism,’ Parsons spent his entire career at Harvard University, which helped considerably in institutionalizing his ideas and also in providing him access to talented graduate students. By the 1950s, his publications became a major part of what was literally a ‘common curriculum’ for graduate students in all major sociology departments—as well as in many of the best political science departments. By being institutionalized in this way, Parsons’ publications elevated the rigor of American graduate training in sociology in particular. More than anyone else, he also deﬁned the ‘classic’ theoretical tradition for sociology as a discipline and then added a more abstract, arguably more conceptually sophisticated contemporary rival to it. With this, he raised the bar for social theory worldwide, from Germany, France, and Great Britain to Japan and even the former Soviet Union. A strong case can be made today that every major social theory since the mid-1960s has been developed in direct or indirect dialogue with Parsons’ functionalism (see Habermas 1981 for a related statement). Having become literally an icon in the discipline in the ﬁrst three decades of his career, in the last two decades he attracted a considerable share of the iconoclasm that more generally characterized the student movement and academia of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Parsons was subject across two decades to far greater criticism than that directed to any other theorist of his generation or since. Given the tenor of the times, most criticisms were rhetorical, often personal. Today, they leave a strong impression that few critics had bothered to read his works with the care typically aﬀorded to basic empirical studies, let alone with the rigor and dispassion that any complicated social theory demands. Yet, the cumulative eﬀect of the broadsides he received in the late 1960s and early 1970s was to leave the collective memory of the discipline with an understanding of Parsonian functionalism that is diﬃcult to reconcile with oftenrepeated, explicitly-stated positions in his publications. What Parsons endeavored to accomplish in his day, providing the social sciences with a common language, and how he went about accomplishing it, 11063
Adamietz H 1978 Parlamentsgeschichte. Hanschild, Location ' res M 1994 Les grands deT bats Be! langer R, Jones R, Vallie parlementaires. Publisher, Laval, Quebec Bisset A 1882 A Short History of English Parliament. Publisher, London Brooks C 1999 Go ernors & Go ernment. Political and Public History of Early Modern England 1550–1850. Arnold, London Chacon V 1997 HistoT ria institucional do Senado. Publisher, Brası! lia Copeland G W, Patterson S C (eds.) 1994 Parliaments in the Modern World: Changing Institutions. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI q sterreichische Parliament 1984 Vienna Das O Franks C E 1987 The Parliament of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON Fraser A, Mason R H P, Mitchell P 1995 Japan’s Early Parliaments 1890–1905. Routledge, New York International Commission for the History of Representation and Parliamentary Institutions 1970 Parliaments, Estates and Representation. International Commission for the History of Representation and Parliamentary Institutions, Ashgate, London Interparliamentary Union 1983 Les Parlements dans le monde. Interparliamentary Union, Paris Kluxen K 1983 Geschichte und Problematik des Parlamentarismus. Frankfurt Ku $ hne T 1998a Parlamentsgeschichte in Deutschland: Probleme, Ertra $ ge, Perspektiven. (History of Parliamentarianism in Germany) Geschichte und Gesellschaft 24(2): 323–38 Ku $ hne T 1998b Parlamentsgeschichte in Deutschland: Probleme, Ertra $ ge, Perspektiven einer Gesamtdarstellung. Geschichte und Gesellschaft 24(2): 323–38 Kurian G Th (ed.) 1998 World Encyclopedia of Parliaments and Legislatures. Congressional Quarterly, Washington, DC Laundy P 1989 Parliaments in the Modern World. Gower, Dartmouth, UK Loewenberg G, Patterson S C 1988 Comparing Legislatures. University Press of America, Lanham, MD Olivier-Martin F 1997 L’absolutisme français; sui i de Les parlements contre l’absolutisme traditionnel. Librarie ge! ne! rale de droit et de jurisprudence, Paris Ritter G A (ed.) 1974 Gesellschaft, Parlament und Regierung: zur Geschichte des Parlamentarismus in Deutschland. Kommission fu $ r Geschichte des Parlamentarismus und der politischen Parteien, Du $ sseldorf
Mary to theologian Jonathan Edwards. Talcott earns an undergraduate degree at Amherst College (as had his father and two older brothers) from 1920–4. now eludes the discipline’s collective memory. Edward Parsons holds fundamentalist views of Christianity but leftist views in politics. Both parents were New England WASPs who traced their ancestry to mid-eighteenth century settlers. Parsons also met his future wife and mother of three children. Parsons selected how sociology and 11064 economics diﬀer in portraying ‘capitalism’ as his dissertation topic. Her family of conservative white. progressive school. Parsons ﬁrst learnt of the recently deceased German social theorist Max Weber and discussed his work with his wife Marianne. E. thus beginning a life-long career there. EvansPritchard. Harvard’s Department of Sociology was a relative late-comer in the discipline. let alone dominating. Many observers comment later on the mature Talcott’s remarkable energy and perseverance—including on the ﬁnal two days of his life in Munich in 1979. Karl Mannheim (a friend of Georg Lukacs) and Karl Jaspers (on Kant).’ At Heidelberg. and the methodological functionalism of anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski—as well as by fellow-student E. critics also comment often on his charm when interacting with other major national and international academicians at Harvard. between the substantive area of social life I am studying and the direction of social change? Here. L. was appointed as an instructor. He published over 150 soleauthored articles and 14 books or collections. The family then moves to New York City where Talcott enters Horace Mann High School. During his earliest years at Harvard. beginning in the fall 1931 under the chairmanship of Pitrim Sorokin. the scientiﬁc study of social life. and Mary Augusta Ingersoll Parsons. the youngest of six children of Edward S. It is diﬃcult to ﬁnd accounts of him being particularly eﬀusive. a Congregational minister and college administrator. A few years later in correspondence with phenomenologist Alfred Schutz from 1940–1. In pursuing this project. which he called ‘frameworks of concepts. and yet a basic premise of functionalism is hardly controversial. Taking coursework from Edgar Salin and Emil Lederer (on economics). 1902 in Colorado Springs. Both parents inculcate into Talcott and his older siblings the importance of ﬁnding a mission in life and then pursuing it assiduously. stocky. I rely primarily on Nielsen 1991). Parsons defended the notion of ‘analytical realism’—as opposed to ontological realism or empirical realism—against Schutz’s position that social scientists can somehow gain more direct access to the ‘life-world’ of their subjects of study (Grathoﬀ 1978). a Bryn Mawr College student studying banking. Parsons was impressed with philosopher Alfred North Whitehead and his notion of the ‘fallacy of misplaced concreteness. Parsons.Parsons. Any social scientist who poses the following question is operating within a functionalist approach: What is the relationship. By contrast to Schutz and then also to ethnographers at University of Chicago and American empirical researchers more generally. Parsons endeavored across his 50-year career to identify the most irreducible analytical distinctions unique to sociology. throughout Parsons’ career.’ Consistent with Kant. Parsons was inﬂuenced by Morris Ginsberg. Helen Banerott Walker. This is an approach much maligned today. In 1927 Parsons was oﬀered an instructorship in economics at Harvard.’ involve a ‘functionalist’ approach to the study of social life. A graduate of Yale Divinity School. a ‘pinky. and overseas. then another (1925–6) as a degree candidate at Heidelberg University. Whitehead held that scientists apprehend ‘reality’ or scientiﬁc ‘truth’ only through analytical distinctions. He is an active participant in the Social Gospel movement that supported organized labor. in the American government. T. Parsons’ graduate training was remarkably brief: one academic year (1924–5) at the London School of Economics as a nondegree candidate.and blue-collar workers consider Talcott a leftist. then 29. In 1917 the Trustees of Colorado College force Edward to resign as Dean after he supports two women who charged the College’s President with sexual harassment. a 42-year old emigre from Russia recruited from University of Minnesota. both critics and proponents often commented on his low-key demeanor when grappling with ideas and interacting with colleagues and students. not more immediately—whether experientially or directly through empirical ﬁndings. At the time Amherst was also an experimental. . Yet. Hobhouse. a laboratory school for boys operated by Teacher’s College of Columbia University. At LSE. A short. Parsons arrived at three successive ‘theoretical syntheses’ and along the way trains four remarkably talented and productive cohorts of graduate students. Talcott (1902–79) developing a ‘conceptual framework’ comprising analytical distinctions. if any. Talcott Parsons was born on December 13. already balding young man who sports a moustache and always smokes cigarettes. his younger brother Alfred. and Alexander von Schelting. Disagreements and misunderstanding between the two theorists became common knowledge in the Department and across the University. a housewife and active suﬀragist (on biographical details. All three of Parsons’ theories. particularly regarding the issue of economic inequality. Parsons. During his year at Heidelberg Parsons was oﬀered a one-year teaching appointment at Amherst in the Economics Department which also allowed him to teach an independent course in sociology. Walton Hamilton. Parsons at ﬁrst focuses on biology and chemistry but in his junior year becomes ‘converted’ to the social sciences under the inﬂuence of an unorthodox institutional economist.
also exhibit ﬁdelity to norms. its attainment is a matter of faith. Wilbert Moore. and centrally situated in a social structure as on whether practicing professionals compete eﬀectively in self-regulating markets. While exceedingly abstract and complex. with Shils). Yet. institutionalized norms. In general. More generally. The discipline is open collectively to receiving a new theoretical synthesis. Jesse Pitts. along with Parsons’s 1930 translation of Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.Moreparticularly. researchers can use six such variable-pairs (a) to distinguish professions from other occupations and (b) to identify changes in the behavior of professions both historically and cross-nationally. supported by generally recognized social norms. he endeavored to account for the place and purpose of norms in maintaining social order both historically and crossnationally. By contrast. This is a qualitative end that is transcendental or metaphysical. By January 1946. Parsons approached professions by ﬁrst distinguishing their behavior from that of economic enterprises. on the other. Francis Sutton. Professions are a pivotal subject for sociological inquiry because they are important nongovernmental bodies in all modern societies. Rather. and Robert Bales. Harry Johnson. and Parsons’ notion of pattern variables. and Florence Kluckhohn (along with Edward Hartshorne who was killed by a sniper while on active service in postwar Germany). and institutionalization of these extraeconomic restraints on self-interested behavior. In his earliest publications. there are two ways to grasp the signiﬁcance of Parsons’ publications across his career. and also by normative pressures to conform to certain extra-economic standards of conduct that typically do not bind most other workers. This reading forms the core of The Structure of Social Action (1937) which. their prestige or status in any society hinges as much on whether they are valued culturally. while preliminary and as it 11065 . established Weber and Durkheim as two of the new discipline’s ‘classic’ theorists. Parsons came to appreciate the signiﬁcance of ‘voluntaristic action’ after a careful reading of two economic theorists. Parsons was interested in accounting at a theoretical level for the rise. a quantitative end that can be recognized interpersonally. other roles (including those performed by parents) encourage more particularistic treatment of others (children). Kingsley Davis. Corporate managers and shareholders tend to act in strictly utilitarian or market-mimicking ways as they endeavor to maximize either growth or proﬁt. John and Mathilda Riley. and thus capable of being recognized interpersonally—such as their patients’ physical or mental health.. with Robert Bales and Edward Shils).’ By his account. or social structures. professionals are simultaneously driven by economic pressures to maximize proﬁts. Harold Garﬁnkel. For example. and Working Papers in the Theory of Action (1953.heendeavoredtoaccount for the place and larger signiﬁcance of professions. Professionals. like other workers. however. on one side. evolution. In all modern societies. and two social theorists. in contemporary societies. with the explicit aim of linking structural and social psychological approaches in the scientiﬁc study of social life. Parsons began thinking about professions (and how to identify norms in social life more generally) in terms of six basic decisions that people performing any role or task either make explicitly or have imposed on them by cultural values. and religious organizations. Clerics and religious believers. During the 1930s. they exhibit ﬁdelity to norms as a means to attain qualitative ends that are worldly or empirical. and then also to explore whether and how they contribute to social order. including: Bernard Barber. Essays in Sociological Theory Pure and Applied (1949). his theory went through a brief midcareer change from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s as he considered ﬁndings from Robert Bales’s study of small groups. many sociology departments re-evaluate their curricula. He had been lecturing informally on Freud since fall 1938.’ They do not act in strictly market-mimicking ways. or scientiﬁc truth. As Parsons assumed his leadership role in Harvard’s Department. he transformed the Department of Sociology into the Department of Social Relations. Towards a General Theory of Action (1951. Marion Levy. Jr. or their clients’ legal innocence.Parsons. In spring 1944 Parsons was promoted to full professor and the chairmanship. is a common ground shared by critical theorists and Parsonian functionalists but not by more historicist researchers. Parsons’ major publications during this period are a collection. Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. Parsons also began formal training in psychoanalysis as a Class C candidate at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. as such. from the 1920s to the mid-1940s.’ including: Robert Merton. Parsons called these decisions and requirements ‘pattern variables. Alfred Marshall and Vilfredo Pareto. and three monographs: The Social System (1951). a unique set of occupations. not something that can be recognized interpersonally. but more ‘voluntaristically. Robin Williams. tend to exhibit ritualistic ﬁdelity to norms as they—presumably—seek spiritual salvation. Parsons trained a ﬁrst cohort of graduate students in the classics and his own theory of ‘voluntaristic action. but they also do not conform to norms ritualistically with any transcendental end in view. certain roles (including those performed by professionals) mandate treating others (clients or patients) in universalistic ways. During this period Parsons trained a second cohort of graduate students in the pattern variables. as part of the buoyancy and optimism that pervaded the US after the war. Talcott (1902–79) then. In the same year. Parsons held. Edward Devereuw. those who study particular events or periods in isolation and are loathe to identify any direction of social change.
Talcott (1902–79) turned out ﬂeeting. is a prime candidate. Dean Gerstein. including: Albert Cohen. many earlier graduate students whose training had been interrupted by wartime service returned to Harvard. In addition. By 1973. but with uneven rigor. Joseph Berger. beginning slowly in the mid-1950s and then with more rapid developments from the early 1960s to the end of his career. he proposes that professions and sites of professional practice (such as universities. Rainer Baum. and research institutes) are organized in a ‘collegial form. two weeks after the Heidelberg debate). First. Sorokin retires in 1959. Second. Through the 1960s and 1970s. and value commitments—thereby bringing a certain orderliness or predictability to the whole. administrative eﬀectiveness (‘goal-attainment’). including: Victor Lidz. a sense that American sociology has not witnessed since.’ not in a bureaucratic form or a democratic form. Neil Smelser. Everyone working in his circle operated with a palpable sense that social theory is in the midst of a fundamental breakthrough. whether by rational choice theorists or social critics on the left. From this point forward. to which Parsons responded with a long concluding chapter. respectively. Also in transition during this period is the leadership of sociology at Harvard. Parsons and Platt published what is arguably his most important single work since 1937. He added notions of ‘systems-theory. did Parsons begin methodically to .’ Parsons unveiled the AGIL schema explicitly in 1963. From 1956 to 1961. Only in the mid-1970s. Leon Mayhew. a few years before his death.’ Finally. the collective memory of the discipline is so dominated by criticisms of the AGIL schema that this major work. Lewis Coser and Dennis Wrong in the US. to treat the professions analytically as interchangeable with other occupations or other corporate entities. James Olds. the putative conservative nature of his own family life including his putative responsibility for his daughter’s suicide (in June 1964. Parsons approached professions within what he called the ‘AGIL schema. They were also shooting at a moving target in that Parsons was developing his mature social theory. Parsons also proposed that four ‘media of interchange’ circulate between these analytical subsystems—money. hospitals. Jackson Toby. inﬂuence. Parsons was attacked. These two points provide the foundations for an account of the place and purpose of professions in contemporary societies that diﬀers radically from any eﬀort. his putative mistranslation of Weber. Another is Robert Merton’s notion of ‘middle range theory. Norman Birnbaum. criticisms of Parsons become harsher. more personal and ideological than analytical and scholarly. for: his religious background. He found himself at odds with Frankfurt School critical theorists. and Miriam Johnson.’ This is Parsons’ single most signiﬁcant contribution to social theory. and within the next two years learns that he has diabetes. lectures. and Parsons’ training of a third cohort of graduate students. however. Renee Fox. Jan Loubser. and then in 1964. his amazing productivity. David Lockwood in Great Britain. Parsons was a central ﬁgure at a famous session of the German Sociology Association in Heidelberg devoted to reconsidering Max Weber’s contributions. Parsons also inﬂuences undergraduate Jeﬀrey Alexander. most notably the young Ju $ rgen Habermas and the more established Max Horkeimer and Herbert Marcuse (see Stammer 1965\1972 for a collection of these exchanges).Parsons. John Akula. power. Parsons resigns as chair of the Department of Social Relations in 1956. his WASP ethnic and cultural heritage. goes largely unread by critics and proponents alike. Parsons trained a fourth and ﬁnal cohort of graduate students in the AGIL schema and related theoretical developments. and his putative general obeisance to ‘American capitalism’ or ‘the establishment. the AGIL schema isolates analytically those aspects of behavior in any role or position that contribute. In this work Parsons rethinks his approach to professions by incorporating two major points into his social theory. ﬁdelity to social norms (‘integration’).’ an idea he ﬁrst proposed at the annual meeting of the then American Sociological Society in 1947 in opposition to Parsons’ ‘general theory. with his ﬁrst statement about ‘evolutionary universals’ (see the Turner 1999 collection for the 1964 article and references to the others). During his transition from the pattern variables to the AGIL schema.’ and ‘hierarchy of control’ to this basic fourfunction breakdown of social life. Talented undergraduates who come into contact with Parsons during this period include Robert Bellah and Charles Tilly.’ ‘pattern maintenance. his putative political conservatism. with Neil Smelser). particularly in the US. his putatively strategic rather than scholarly decision to make sociology as 11066 rigorous conceptually as economics. This transition period to Parsons’ mature social theory is marked in particular by Economy and Society (1956. As fully developed. his writing style. In April 1964. with major articles on the concepts of power and inﬂuence. and Ralf Dahrendorf in Germany challenged Parsons’ functionalism in relatively measured tones. The high-point of scholarly criticism during this period comes with a collection of essays by philosophers and sociologists edited by Max Black. and Willy DeCramer. and presentations create an unusually kinetic intellectual excitement among collaborators and graduate students. In 1973. Parsons’ publications. to each of four general social ‘functions’: economic eﬃciency (‘adaptation’). and ﬁdelity to cultural values or a society’s most basic institutional arrangements (‘latency’). he proposes that professions are distinguished from other occupations by their members’ willingness to bear ‘ﬁduciary responsibilities’ to clients and the larger society. arguably Parsons’ single most important substantive contribution to social theory. The American Uni ersity.
As a result. Crane Brinton. In early May 1979 they returned to Heidelberg. Lawrence Brownstein. Karl Deutsch. Gabriel Almond. his students. Niklas Luhmann. At a memorial service 10 days later in Harvard Chapel. Morris Zelditch. Albert Blumenthal. After Parsons’ typical full day of presentations and scholarly exchanges. it is that of research methods. James S. Chester Barnard. Adrian Hayes. Daniel Bell. and Dean Gerstein. and accelerated. C. Parsons’s ‘general theory’ has given way not to a ﬁnite set of readily identiﬁable theories of the ‘middle range. Herbert Marcuse. an impressive set of scholars was inﬂuenced heavily by Parsons himself. S. James Olds. Graduate students are trained more and more narrowly. including a lecture on ‘The Declining Signiﬁcance of Social Class’ attended by host Horst Helle as well as Jurgen Habermas. Robert Bierstedt.’ as Robert Merton anticipated in 1949. Kenneth Boulding. The major diﬀerence with Parsons is that the French theorist’s categories are more directly descriptive. the professions. as opposed to revealing to each other the general importance of their research ﬁndings and theoretical developments. by which to demonstrate to each other the central import of their respective ﬁndings. on the occasion of the ﬁftieth anniversary of Talcott’s degree from Heidelberg. Erwin Scheuch. social scientists routinely talk past each other. or on what basis researchers may categorize particular groups or activities as components of one ﬁeld or another. Ken’ichi Tominaga (Japan’s leading postwar sociologist). Edward Laumann. Wright Mills. it is not clear on what basis he is distinguishing ﬁelds. why there are six ﬁelds of power rather than four or eight. In support of Habermas’ point that we can expect any new theoretical development in the social sciences to respond directly or indirectly to Parsons’ functionalism. N. Led initially by Munch (1981) in Germany and Alexander (1983. or his theory (some of whom also inﬂuence Parsons and his students): Niklas Luhmann. Parsons’ critics inadvertently encouraged the fragmentation of research and theory in sociology and the social sciences that Parsons endeavored to prevent. always. today’s ‘neofunctionalism’ ﬁnds support from theorists whose political positions range from radical left to liberal reformist to conservative republican (see the collections edited by Hamilton 1992 11067 . Lon Fuller. Max Horkheimer. In addition. and Frank Lechner. This trend is then recapitulated. the higher civil service.Parsons. then proceeded to Munich. in the absence of any shared framework of analytical concepts. by ongoing changes in graduate training. French social theorist Pierre Bourdieu in many regards today recapitulates Parsons’ AGIL schema. including members of Parsons’ last cohort of graduate and undergraduate students at Harvard. Robert Bellah. Today. Prior to Bershady both proponents and critics generally failed to convey the power and sweep of Parsons’ social theory in form. including three separate trips to Japan. Although a passionate man. Chalmers Johnson. By the early 1980s. Neil Smelser. Not daunted by even sweeping attack. But even here there is more internal division among methodologists than they often wish to acknowledge. team-taught. Mark Gould. Victor Lidz. Parsons’ project was essentially to give structuralists and symbolic interactionists the means. adhering to principles of value-freedom. David Riesman. Gerald Platt. Eisenstadt. Sidney Verba. he held to his own program of research and writing. Philip Selznick. most notably the informed analyses of Bershady (1973) and Warner (1978). he declined to reciprocate ideological criticism. and Wolfgang Schluchter. Florence Kluckhohn. David Apter. Jesse Pitts. Bershady is the ﬁrst to draw attention to Parsons’ eﬀort to ground the social sciences against relativism with analytical concepts. as technical matters within the domain of social scientiﬁc theory’ (Nielsen 1991). Jurgen Habermas. Joseph Schumpeter. Bales. Robert F. the common language. Bennett Berger. Robert Marsh. 1985) in the US. Samuel Stouﬀer. Talcott bore criticism with equanimity as well as courage. Robert Bellah. Winston White. Seymour Martin Lipset. and their required survey courses in social theory hardly encourage them to move beyond any research specialty. and the university (Bourdieu 1989\1996). Victor Lidz notes in eulogy: ‘No sociologist of recent times has had to endure more bitter criticism than Talcott. Andrew Eﬀrat. including: Edward Shils. Talcott (1902–79) respond to at least a few criticisms of his work. Finally. Joseph Ben-David. He dealt with criticisms. its aspiration to unite the social sciences. If there is any ‘common language’ in the social sciences today. Richard Munch. Moreover. he engaged in private and public correspondence and debates with Frank Knight. but rather to an ever more ﬁnely grained cacophony of research specialties. He co-authored. Bershady’s Ideology and Social Knowledge in particular marks a major sea change in commentary on Parsons’ works. Philip Slater. S. More than anyone else Bershady appreciates that Parsons pitched his social theory at an unusually abstract level of analysis because he sought literally a common language for the social sciences. Robert Merton. Alfred Schutz. Martin Martel. Coleman. Lucian Pye. N. He identiﬁes two poles within what he calls ‘ﬁelds of power’—the economic ﬁeld and the ﬁeld of cultural production—and then distinguishes four ﬁelds in between: politics. or otherwise collaborated closely with a remarkable range of theorists and researchers across disciplines. Parsons and Helen travelled frequently in the 1970s. Eisenstadt. initiated the eﬀort to have Parsons’ publications reconsidered on scholarly grounds. Parsons demonstrated his capacity to ‘translate’ others’ ﬁndings and ideas in his own scholarship. a new generation of social theorists. Kaspar Naegele. and Ernest Mayr. Eric Voegelin. Parsons died of a stroke in the early hours of May 8. Amitai Etzioni. less analytically rigorous. Benjamin Nelson.
Sciulli Copyright # 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. Cambridge. NJ Bourdieu P 1989\1996 The State Nobility: Elite Schools in the Field of Power. and Kazuyoshi Takagi in Japan. MA 11068 International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences ISBN: 0-08-043076-7 . Elgar. Realism\Neorealism. are two general principles (which Alexander 1988 now explicitly rejects). Theories of Social. Kiyomitsu Yui. Social theorists outside the US today who support the Parsonian tradition. Helmut Staubmann in Austria. What they share. alternatively. Partial Orders The idea of ordering captures a basic faculty of the human mind: to decide for two given elements from a set of objects which one ‘dominates’ the other with respect to an attribute of interest. 5 vols. Boston Hamilton P (ed. Value Pluralism. History of. Structure: Social. Malden. MA Warner R S 1978 Toward a redeﬁnition of action theory: Paying the cognitive element its due. Harvard University Press. (c) transitivity: x y and y z implies x z. with Parsons himself. Free Press. Stanford University Press. Weber. New York Black M (ed. Structuralism.) 1990 Neofunctionalist Sociology. Blackwell. American Journal of Sociology 83: 1317–49 D. Institutions. 4: The Reconstruction of Classical Thought: Talcott Parsons. Malden. though it might be a consequence of other conditions. Social Change: Types. Hans Joas. Emergent Properties. Indiana University Press. Wiley. One is that it is vitally important to the social sciences to continue Parsons’ eﬀort to ground social theory on the basic analytical distinctions of the AGIL schema rather than to rely more directly on descriptive concepts (whether empirical generalizations or ideal types). Routledge.’ but that they need not follow Parsons’ eﬀort to draw further distinctions within each subdivision (Mouzelis 1995). 4 vols.) 1999 The Talcott Parsons Reader. 2 vols. Theories of. Inﬂuence: Social. ) where P is a nonempty set and a binary relation on P satisfying for all x.) 1978 The Theory of Social Action: The Correspondence of Alfred Schutz and Talcott Parsons. Political Economy. CA Alexander J C (ed. it is shared by all variants of order relations. Theory: Sociological.) 1992 Talcott Parsons: Critical Assessments. Horst Helle. Symbolic Interaction: Methodology. Beverly Hills. Harper and Row. However. Max (1864–1920) Bershady H J 1973 Ideology and Social Knowledge. I: The Structure of the Kantian core.) 1985 Neofunctionalism. and Nicos Mouzelis. History of. 2. Formally. and Riccardo Prandini in Italy. London Mouzelis N 1995 Sociological Theory: What Went Wrong? Diagnosis and Remedies. Emile (1858–1917). Parsons T 1937\1968 The Structure of Social Action. Aldershot. Professions in Organizations. University of California Press. All rights reserved. Uta Gerhardt. See also: Action Theory: Psychological. Prentice-Hall. Durkheim. Sociology. even if critical of certain parts of it. Realisms and their Opponents: Philosophical Aspects. Andrea Maccarini. London Munch R 1981 Talcott Parsons and the theory of action. on the contrary. New York Stammer O (ed. CA Alexander J C 1988 Neofunctionalism and After. Reﬂexivity. which one is ‘preferred’ to the other. UK Turner B S (ed. Functionalism in Sociology. Control: Social. and Jeremy Tanner in Great Britain. a partially ordered set (a poset for short) consists of a pair (P. Cambridge University Press. Sage.) 1965\1972 Max Weber and Sociology Today. New York Parsons T. Jens Kaalhauge Nielsen in Denmark. is merely a matter of taste or con- Bibliography Alexander J C 1983 Theoretical Logic in Sociology. Bloomington. New York Takagi K in press Talcott Parsons and American Intellectual Society. Platt G W 1973 The American Uni ersity. Stanford.) 1961 The Social Theories of Talcott Parsons. Ken’ichi Tominaga. asymmetry also contributes in an essential way to the meaning of a partial order. Action. Shared Belief. Talcott (1902–79) and Colomy 1990). in a sense. Vol. (b) asymmetry: x y and y x implies x l y. Bryan Turner. include: Munch. Vol. The other principle is that it is incumbent today to demonstrate the empirical potential of Parsonian functionalism. System: Social. Professions. Pierpaolo Donati. Cambridge University Press. z ? P: (a) reﬂexivity: x x. Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason. to identify lines of empirical inquiry that this social theory uniquely presents to view (Sciulli 1992). Status and Role: Structural Aspects. History of. Englewood Cliﬀs. UK Grathoﬀ R (ed. Beacon Press.Parsons. or. and then the ﬁrst set of subdivisions he drew within each ‘function. Values. and Harald Wenzel in Germany. Berkeley. Sociology of. MA Sciulli D 1992 Theory of Societal Constitutionalism: Foundations of a Non-Marxist Critical Theory. Unpublished Manuscript. CA Colomy P (ed. Cambridge. Sociology of. Transitivity is. Blackwell. Routledge. Functionalism. Norms. y. Theory and Political Orientation. the most important property. Theory: Conceptions in the Social Sciences. IN Habermas J 1981\1987 Theory of Communicati e Action. Conventions and Norms: Philosophical Aspects. American Journal of Sociology 86: 709–39 Nielsen J K 1991 Talcott Parsons’ Life. A strong case can be made that Parsons’ social theory has been mined only superﬁcially (Takagi in press). Matteo Bortolini. Educational Institutions and Society. An equally strong case can be made that theorists and researchers today can draw fruitfully on Parsons’ basic AGIL schema.
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