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Social Systems Theory: Talcott Parsons and Niklas Luhmann

Socialization and education—and the similarities and differences between the two processes—were of interest even to the early social sciences. For many founding figures, socialization theory was at the core of social theory, and there was a tendency for education to be conceptualized as a particular type of socialization. The concept of socialization/education contributed to the overall orientation of classical sociology on structural stability. Until the 1960s, this discipline predominantly focused on the communication of social experiences to the younger generations and on the transmission of culture, norms, and value orientations. Only in the latter part of the 20th century did the concept of socialization/education lose its central theoretical position—both as a consequence of increased scholarly concern with processes of change and transition and of strong ...

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