Society and Culture reclaims the classical heritage, provides a clear-eyed assessment of the promise of sociology in the 21st century and asks whether the `cultural turn' has made the study of society redundant. Sociologists have objected to the rise of cultural studies on the grounds that it produces cultural relativism and lacks a stable research agenda. This book looks at these criticisms and illustrates the relevance of a sociological perspective in the analysis of human practice. The book argues that the classical tradition must be treated as a living tradition, rather than a period piece. It analyzes the fundamental principles of belonging and conflict in society and provides a detailed critical survey of the p

Scarcity

Scarcity

The analytical relationship between economics and sociology was fundamental to the development of classical sociology, particularly in the work of Marx, Weber and Simmel, but it was also crucial to the evolution of the sociological theories of Talcott Parsons (Holton and Turner, 1986). In this chapter, in order to develop an interpretation of The Structure of Social Action (Parsons, 1937) we make, following Parsons's notion of ‘the economic element’, a primary dichotomy between economics as a science of scarcity and sociology as a science of social solidarity, based on ‘common-value integration’. In Parsons's early treatment of the means-ends schema, sociology was understood to be concerned with the ends of action which are determined by values, and economics was classified as a science of means ...

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