Talcott Parsons Today

His Theory and Legacy in Contemporary Sociology

Author: A. Javier Treviño

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742509580

Category: Social Science

Page: 259

View: 1987

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Talcott Parsons Today offers a reappraisal—and extension—of the work of the most significant and influential twentieth-century sociologist. The volume consists of original essays by prominent Parsons scholars from around the world. It contributes to the current controversy surrounding an important sociological figure.
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The Basics of Sociology

Author: Kathy S. Stolley

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780313323874

Category: Social Science

Page: 302

View: 7633

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Provides an introduction to core concepts in sociology. Presents both classic studies and current references to illustrate sociological concepts. Examines what sociology is, why sociology is important, and why we study it. Demonstrates how various social forces impact our lives and form our social experiences.
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After Parsons

A Theory of Social Action for the Twenty-First Century

Author: Renee C. Fox,Victor M. Lidz,Harold J. Bershady

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610442156

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 4839

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Esteemed twentieth-century sociologist Talcott Parsons sought to develop a comprehensive and coherent scheme for sociology that could be applied to every society and historical epoch, and address every aspect of human social organization and culture. His theory of social action has exerted enormous influence across a wide range of social science disciplines. After Parsons, edited by Renée Fox, Victor Lidz, and Harold Bershady, provides a critical reexamination of Parsons' theory in light of historical changes in the world and advances in sociological thought since his death. After Parsons is a fresh examination of Parsons' theoretical undertaking, its significance for social scientific thought, and its implications for present-day empirical research. The book is divided into four parts: Social Institutions and Social Processes; Societal Community and Modernization; Sociology and Culture; and the Human Condition. The chapters deal with Parsons' notions of societal community, societal evolution, and modernization and modernity. After Parsons addresses major themes of enduring relevance, including social differentiation and cultural diversity, social solidarity, universalism and particularism, and trust and affect in social life. The contributors explore these topics in a wide range of social institutions—family and kinship, economy, polity, the law, medicine, art, and religion—and within the context of contemporary developments such as globalization, the power of the United States as an "empireless empire," the emergence of forms of fundamentalism, the upsurge of racial, tribal, and ethnic conflicts, and the increasing occurence of deterministic and positivistic thought. Rather than simply celebrating Parsons and his accomplishments, the contributors to After Parsons rethink and reformulate his ideas to place them on more solid foundations, extend their scope, and strengthen their empirical insights. After Parsons constitutes the work of a distinguished roster of American and European sociologists who find Parsons' theory of action a valuable resource for addressing contemporary issues in sociological theory. All of the essays in this volume take elements of Parsons' theory and critique, adapt, refine, or extend them to gain fresh purchase on problems that confront sociologists today.
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Talcott Parsons on Law and the Legal System

Author: A. Javier Trevino

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Pub

ISBN: 9781443811309

Category: Law

Page: 426

View: 657

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One of the great ironies in contemporary sociology of law is that despite Talcott Parsons's enormously influential role as "the midwife of modern sociology," coupled with his three decades of focused and sustained analysis of the legal system's location in a total and complex society, it is nothing short of appalling that his particular social systems approach to law has been largely neglected. Indeed, although Parsons made only cursory mention of law in some of his best-known works, he extensively discussed the role of the legal system in no less than five important papers and two somewhat lengthy book reviews. What is more, in the two slim paperbacks where Parsons applies his cybernetic systems theory in explaining the progression from premodern to modern societies, he considers law to be an essential element in the analysis of just about every society under consideration: ancient Egypt and the Mesopotamian empires; China, India, and the Islamic empires; the Roman empire; Israel and Greece; medieval Western Christendom; the United States. This volume, the first of its kind, is the most complete articulation of Parsons's treatment of the U.S. legal system's nature and function during the late-twentieth century. In addition to a lengthy Introduction by the editor, the book consists of 26 readings, taken from the full range of Parsons's books and papers, which, in toto, render a detailed analytical roadmap that can today guide much of our sociological thinking concerning such contemporary social issues related to law as citizenship, trust, and governmentality. More than this, Parsons's writings on the courts and the legal profession both of which he believed to constitute the core of an integrative U.S. citizenry can inform policy-makers' decisions concerning such controversial issues as immigration, civil rights, and legal ethics.
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Pitirim A. Sorokin

An Intellectual Biography

Author: Barry V. Johnston

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 380

View: 314

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Pitirim A. Sorokin (1889-1968) was one of the most original, important, and controversial figures in American sociology. His spectacular rise from a peasant childhood in Czarist Russia to the Olympian heights of Harvard University provides an unlikely and fascinating lens for examining the history of an entire discipline. And, as Barry Johnston shows, his equally dramatic fall from favor and unexpected resurrection illuminate both Sorokin's life and the tempestuous world of academic politics. An outspoken revolutionary and secretary to Alexander Kerensky, Sorokin was imprisoned and ordered executed by Lenin, then reprieved and exiled. During the 1920s, he flourished as a teacher and scholar at the University of Minnesota, where he published several pioneering books on the Russian Revolution, social mobility, sociological theory, and rural sociology. Harvard president A. Lawrence Lowell was so impressed that he recruited Sorokin to chair the university's first department of sociology. From 1930 to 1944 the department prospered under Sorokin's leadership, attracting an entire generation of young scholars who in their own right would have a profound impact on the discipline. In this period, Sorokin published several volumes of his magnum opus, Social and Cultural Dynamics, and became embroiled in a bitter battle with rival Talcott Parsons for control of the department. Parsons ultimately deposed Sorokin and transformed sociology into the Department of Social Relations. Sorokin nevertheless stayed on at Harvard, where he established the Center for Creative Altruism but otherwise continued to work in relative obscurity. Finally in 1963, after years in eclipse, Sorokin was recognized for his accomplishments when he was elected president of the American Sociological Association. During a long and distinguished career, Sorokin amassed an amazingly diverse and substantial body of work, much of which set the standard for the field. At the same time, he broke with the conventions of sociology, frequently ridiculing and taunting his less adventurous colleagues. For his heresy, the flamboyant Sorokin was condemned and driven to the periphery of a profession anxious for legitimacy as a science. As a result, Sorokin's ideas have been consistently ignored and misunderstood for more than a quarter century. Based on exhaustive research in Sorokin's papers and the Harvard archives, as well as interviews with Sorokin's surviving family members, former students, and colleagues, this biography restores Sorokin to his rightful place in the pantheon of American intellectuals.
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The Anthem Companion to Talcott Parsons

Author: A. Javier Treviño,Javier Trevino

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780857281838

Category: Social Science

Page: 234

View: 7922

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This collection of eleven chapters, written by scholars who have frequently made Parsons s ideas a central component of their work, is set in two parts. In Part I, consisting of chapters 1 through 6, a variety of issues that were of particular empirical and theoretical concern to Parsons at various points in his career are analyzed, critiqued and updated: German totalitarianism, political power in liberal democracies, the student protest movements on U.S. college campuses, the therapist patient relationship in psychotherapy, the phenomenon of death and the reception of his ideas on the social system. Together these chapters point to some of Parsons s interests in political and humanist matters, all of which, at one time or another, were if not always tidily, at least satisfactorily subsumed within and addressed by his general theory of action as it continued to develop. Thus, Nazism as a totalitarian social structure could be explained by the pattern variables, the notion of power became one of the generalized media of interchange, the expressiveness inherent in the 1960s campus unrest and in the therapeutic relationship was understood in terms of the AGIL schema and death was considered in connection with the telic order. Part II, which includes chapters 7 through 11, focuses on two interrelated themes that characterize the late phase of Parsons s work: progressive evolution and the societal community. Beginning in the mid-1960s the process of evolution both in its societal and cultural aspects was given primary of place by Parsons in further explaining social differentiation and integration but also, and more fundamentally, in dealing with the problem of social change. For Parsons, evolutionary development, with crucial cultural innovations taking place in the seed-bed societies of Israel and classical Greece, had culminated in modern society, which in the Western context brought about the industrial, democratic and education revolutions, and in the American context led to the development of an institutionalized individualism reinforced by the core value of instrumental activism. Both of these latter concepts are given extensive treatment in Parsons s last book, the posthumously published American Society. Of special significance in this work is the notion of the societal community particularly of the American variety that Parsons contends contributes to internal integration though citizenship and the normatively defined obligations that citizenship engenders. In short, Part II demonstrates the importance that Parsons gave to modern civil society in general as well as to the exceptional status that he attributed to American society in particular. "
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Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems

Author: A. Javier Treviño,Karen M. McCormack

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317056981

Category: Social Science

Page: 262

View: 8363

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This book challenges sociologists and sociology students to think beyond the construction of social problems to tackle a central question: What do sociologists do with the analytic tools and academic skills afforded by their discipline to respond to social problems? Service Sociology posits that a central role of sociology is not simply to analyse and interpret social problems, but to act in the world in an informed manner to ameliorate suffering and address the structural causes of these problems. This volume provides a unique contribution to this approach to sociology, exploring the intersection between its role as an academic discipline and its practice in the service of communities and people. With both contemporary and historical analyses, the book traces the legacy, characteristics, contours, and goals of the sociology of service, shedding light on its roots in early American sociology and its deep connections to activism, before examining the social context that underlies the call for volunteerism, community involvement and non-profit organisations, as well as the strategies that have promise in remedying contemporary social problems. Presenting examples of concrete social problems from around the world, including issues of democratic participation, poverty and unemployment, student involvement in microlending, disaster miitigation, the organization and leadership of social movements, homelessness, activism around HIV/AIDS and service spring breaks, Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems explores the utility of public teaching, participatory action research, and service learning in the classroom as a contribution to the community.
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