Talcott Parsons's AGIL schema summarizes the four functional requisites or imperatives of any system of action: adaptation (A), goal attainment (G), integration (I), and latent pattern maintenance (L). Also known as the four-function paradigm, the AGIL schema specifies for structural-functional theory the needs of any living system and how that system maintains order in relation to both its external environment and internal organization. Parsons argued that the AGIL schema could be employed in the analysis and study of both abstract systems of action and actually existing, concrete societies. Parsons, in collaboration with Robert F. Bales and Edward A. Shils, first formulated the AGIL schema in the Working Papers in the Theory of Action (1953).

One must first locate the AGIL schema at the highest level of ...

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