Talcott Parsons

ParsonsParsonianParsons, TalcotParsons, Talcott
Talcott Parsons (1902–1979) was an American sociologist of the classical tradition, best known for his social action theory and structural functionalism.wikipedia
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Structural functionalism

functionalismfunctionalistsocial function
Talcott Parsons (1902–1979) was an American sociologist of the classical tradition, best known for his social action theory and structural functionalism.
For Talcott Parsons, "structural-functionalism" came to describe a particular stage in the methodological development of social science, rather than a specific school of thought.

Harvard Department of Social Relations

Department of Social RelationsSocial RelationsHarvard's Department of Social Relations
Later, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Department of Social Relations at Harvard.
While the name "Social Relations" is often associated with the program's long-time chair and guiding spirit, sociologist Talcott Parsons, many major figures of mid-20th-century social science also numbered among the program's faculty, including psychologists Gordon Allport (personality and motivation), Jerome Bruner (cognitive psychology and narrative analysis), Roger Brown (social psychology and psycholinguistics), and Henry Murray (personality); anthropologists Clyde and Florence Kluckhohn (value orientations), John and Beatrice Whiting (cross-cultural child development), Evon Z. Vogt (comparative religion); and sociologist Alex Inkeles (Soviet studies and national character).

Social system

social systemssocialsocietal system
Based on empirical data, Parsons' social action theory was the first broad, systematic, and generalizable theory of social systems developed in the United States and Europe.
Talcott Parsons was the first to formulate a systematic theory of social systems, which he did as a part of his AGIL paradigm.

Jesse R. Pitts

Later cohorts of students had with Harry Johnson, Bernard Barber, Marion Levy and Jesse R. Pitts.
He is considered one of the leading disciples of Talcott Parsons, dean of American sociologists for much of the 20th century.

Charles Parsons (philosopher)

Charles ParsonsCharlesParsons, Charles
The couple had three children: Anne, Charles, and Susan and eventually four grandchildren.
Parsons is a son of the famous Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons.

Sociology

sociologistsociologicalsociologists
Talcott Parsons (1902–1979) was an American sociologist of the classical tradition, best known for his social action theory and structural functionalism. The chance for a shift to sociology came in 1930, when Harvard's first Sociology Department was created under Russian scholar Pitirim Sorokin.
The sociological "canon of classics" with Durkheim and Max Weber at the top owes in part to Talcott Parsons, who is largely credited with introducing both to American audiences.

Historicism

historicisthistoristicGerman historicism
It was clear from his discussion that he rejected Sombart's quasi-idealistic views and supported Weber's attempt to strike a balance between historicism, idealism and neo-Kantianism.
Talcott Parsons criticized historicism as a case of idealistic fallacy in The Structure of Social Action (1937).

Niklas Luhmann

LuhmannLuhmann, N.Luhmannian
Toward the end of Parsons' career, German systems theorist Niklas Luhmann also attended his lectures.
During a sabbatical in 1961, he went to Harvard, where he met and studied under Talcott Parsons, then the world's most influential social systems theorist.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

famous claimProtestant EthicsThe Protestant Ethic
The key to the discussion was the implication of Weber's interpretation of Protestant ethics and the impact of Calvinism on modern history.
Begun as a series of essays, the original German text was composed in 1904 and 1905, and was translated into English for the first time by American sociologist Talcott Parsons in 1930.

Émile Durkheim

DurkheimEmile DurkheimDurkheimian
Some of Parsons' largest contributions to sociology in the English-speaking world were his translations of Max Weber's work and his analyses of works by Weber, Émile Durkheim, and Vilfredo Pareto.
Scholars inspired by Durkheim include Marcel Mauss, Maurice Halbwachs, Célestin Bouglé, Gustave Belot, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, Talcott Parsons, Robert K. Merton, Jean Piaget, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Ferdinand de Saussure, Michel Foucault, Clifford Geertz, Peter Berger, Robert N. Bellah, social reformer Patrick Hunout and others.

Vilfredo Pareto

ParetoV. F. D. ParetoVilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto
Some of Parsons' largest contributions to sociology in the English-speaking world were his translations of Max Weber's work and his analyses of works by Weber, Émile Durkheim, and Vilfredo Pareto.
Pareto's sociology was introduced to the United States by George Homans and Lawrence J. Henderson at Harvard, and had considerable influence, especially on Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons, who developed a systems approach to society and economics that argues the status quo is usually functional.

Systems theory

systems thinkinginterdependencegeneral systems theory
Parsons also became strongly interested in systems theory and cybernetics and began to adopt their basic ideas and concepts to the realm of social science, giving special attention to the work of Norbert Wiener (1894–1964).
Stichweh states: "... Since its beginnings the social sciences were an important part of the establishment of systems theory... the two most influential suggestions were the comprehensive sociological versions of systems theory which were proposed by Talcott Parsons since the 1950s and by Niklas Luhmann since the 1970s."

Clarence Edwin Ayres

Clarence AyresClarence E. Ayres
Parsons also took courses with Walton Hamilton and the philosopher Clarence Edwin Ayres, both known as "institutional economists".
One of Ayres students during Ayres time at Amherst College was Talcott Parsons, the most famous of all American sociologists, who wrote two term-papers for Ayres's Philosophy III class.

Edward Laumann

Edward O. LaumannLaumann, Edward O.
Some of the students who arrived at the Department of Social Relations in the years after the Second World War were David Aberle, Gardner Lindzey, Harold Garfinkel, David G. Hays, Benton Johnson, Marian Johnson, Kaspar Naegele, James Olds, Albert Cohen, Norman Birnbaum, Robin Murphy Williams, Jackson Toby, Robert N. Bellah, Joseph Kahl, Joseph Berger, Morris Zelditch, Renée Fox, Tom O'Dea, Ezra Vogel, Clifford Geertz, Joseph Elder, Theodore Mills, Mark Field, Edward Laumann, and Francis Sutton.
Laumann earned his Ph.D. in the Harvard Department of Social Relations in 1964, where he studied under George Homans, Talcott Parsons, and Harrison White.

Robert K. Merton

Robert MertonMertonMerton's theory of deviance
Some of Parsons' students in the first years of the new department of sociology were people like Robin Williams Jr., Robert K. Merton, Kingsley Davis, Wilbert Moore, Edward C. Devereux, Logan Wilson, Nicholas Demereth, John Riley Jr., and Mathilda White Riley.
Merton's work is often compared to that of Talcott Parsons.

Robert N. Bellah

Robert BellahRobert Neelly BellahRobert Bellah,
Some of the students who arrived at the Department of Social Relations in the years after the Second World War were David Aberle, Gardner Lindzey, Harold Garfinkel, David G. Hays, Benton Johnson, Marian Johnson, Kaspar Naegele, James Olds, Albert Cohen, Norman Birnbaum, Robin Murphy Williams, Jackson Toby, Robert N. Bellah, Joseph Kahl, Joseph Berger, Morris Zelditch, Renée Fox, Tom O'Dea, Ezra Vogel, Clifford Geertz, Joseph Elder, Theodore Mills, Mark Field, Edward Laumann, and Francis Sutton.
Bellah graduated from Harvard in a joint sociology and Far East languages program, with Talcott Parsons and John Pelzel as his advisors, respectively.

Pitirim Sorokin

Pitirim A. SorokinP. A. SorokinDr. [Pitirim] Sorokin
The chance for a shift to sociology came in 1930, when Harvard's first Sociology Department was created under Russian scholar Pitirim Sorokin.
Sorokin was personally requested to accept a position at Harvard University, founding the Department of Sociology and becoming a vocal critic of his colleague, Talcott Parsons.

Harold Garfinkel

Garfinkel
Some of the students who arrived at the Department of Social Relations in the years after the Second World War were David Aberle, Gardner Lindzey, Harold Garfinkel, David G. Hays, Benton Johnson, Marian Johnson, Kaspar Naegele, James Olds, Albert Cohen, Norman Birnbaum, Robin Murphy Williams, Jackson Toby, Robert N. Bellah, Joseph Kahl, Joseph Berger, Morris Zelditch, Renée Fox, Tom O'Dea, Ezra Vogel, Clifford Geertz, Joseph Elder, Theodore Mills, Mark Field, Edward Laumann, and Francis Sutton.
After the war, Garfinkel went to study at Harvard and met Talcott Parsons at the newly formed Department of Social Relations at Harvard University.

Clifford Geertz

GeertzGeertz, CliffordGEERTZ, C.
Some of the students who arrived at the Department of Social Relations in the years after the Second World War were David Aberle, Gardner Lindzey, Harold Garfinkel, David G. Hays, Benton Johnson, Marian Johnson, Kaspar Naegele, James Olds, Albert Cohen, Norman Birnbaum, Robin Murphy Williams, Jackson Toby, Robert N. Bellah, Joseph Kahl, Joseph Berger, Morris Zelditch, Renée Fox, Tom O'Dea, Ezra Vogel, Clifford Geertz, Joseph Elder, Theodore Mills, Mark Field, Edward Laumann, and Francis Sutton.
This interdisciplinary program was led by Talcott Parsons, and Geertz worked with both Parsons and Clyde Kluckhohn.

The Structure of Social Action

The former work was Parsons' first major attempt to present his basic outline of a general theory of society since The Structure of Social Action (1937).
The Structure of Social Action is a 1937 book by sociologist Talcott Parsons.

Chester Barnard

Chester I. Barnard
Parsons also made strong connections with two other influential intellectuals with whom he corresponded for years: economist Frank H. Knight and Chester Barnard, one of the most dynamic businessmen of the US.
Barnard was a great admirer of Talcott Parsons (1902–1979) and he and Parsons corresponded persistently.

Max Weber

WeberWeberianWeber, Max
Some of Parsons' largest contributions to sociology in the English-speaking world were his translations of Max Weber's work and his analyses of works by Weber, Émile Durkheim, and Vilfredo Pareto.
Significant interpretations of his writings were produced by such sociological luminaries as Talcott Parsons and C. Wright Mills.

Modernization theory

modernizationmodernisationmodernize
In the early 1960s, it became obvious that his ideas had a great impact on much of the theories of modernization at the time.
Modernization theory originated from the ideas of German sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920), which provided the basis for the modernization paradigm developed by Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons (1902–1979).

Morris Zelditch

Some of the students who arrived at the Department of Social Relations in the years after the Second World War were David Aberle, Gardner Lindzey, Harold Garfinkel, David G. Hays, Benton Johnson, Marian Johnson, Kaspar Naegele, James Olds, Albert Cohen, Norman Birnbaum, Robin Murphy Williams, Jackson Toby, Robert N. Bellah, Joseph Kahl, Joseph Berger, Morris Zelditch, Renée Fox, Tom O'Dea, Ezra Vogel, Clifford Geertz, Joseph Elder, Theodore Mills, Mark Field, Edward Laumann, and Francis Sutton.
He received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1951 and his PhD from Harvard University in 1955; his doctoral advisor was Talcott Parsons and his dissertation was titled Authority and Solidarity in Three Southwestern Communities.

Acworth, New Hampshire

Acworth Acworth
In 1932, Parsons bought his famous farmhouse in New Hampshire for $2,500 in a wooded area near the small town of Acworth, but Parsons often, in his writing, referred to it as "the farmhouse in Alstead."