• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In this book, one of the foremost sociologists of the present day, turns his gaze upon the key figures and seminal institutions in the rise of sociology. Turner examines the work of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Karl Mannheim, Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons to produce a rich and authoritative perspective on the classical tradition. He argues that classical sociology has developed on many fronts, including debates on the family, religion, the city, social stratification, generations and citizenship. The book defends classical perspectives as a living tradition for understanding contemporary social life and demonstrates how the classical tradition produces an agenda for contemporary sociology.

Talcott Parsons on the Social System
Talcott parsons on the social system
Introduction: Interpretative Difficulties

The general problem of The Social System is that it is both one of the most influential and systematic textbooks of modern sociology, and one of the most ferociously criticized books. Naturally its author has had a rather similar career. Parsons's first major publication – The Structure of Social Action (1937) – has proved in the long run to have been one of the most coherent and profound attacks on utilitarian theories of social action in the social sciences, thereby establishing Parsons as, among other intellectual roles, a leading contributor to the analytical problems of economic theory. His next major book The Social System (1951), along with Toward a General Theory of ...

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