Talcott Parsons's Sociological Theory

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1.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The research methodology used for the project is purely doctrinal in nature. Secondary sources like books and articles have been referred to for the understanding of the author’s (Talcott Parsons) work, his views and ideas as a dominant figure in the field of sociological theorizing. 1. INTRODUCTION: TALCOTT PARSONS’ SOCIOLOGY Talcott Parsons was the dominant sociological theorist of his time and his contribution to the discipline of sociology in general and theorizing in particular cannot go unacknowledged even by his critics. Parsons came from a religious and intellectual background and admitted to have been greatly influenced by the values of his parents. He was interested in the natural sciences,…show more content…
TALCOTT PARSONS: BIOGRAPHY Talcott C. Parsons was born in 1902 in Colorado Springs, Colorado to Mary Ingersol Parsons and Henry Smith Parsons. He was the youngest of five children and came from a liberal household where concerns relating to socio-economic issues were often discussed. His father was a Congregational minister and later became President of the Marietta College in Ohio. His mother was a suffragist and backer of various progressive causes. Parsons was considerably influenced by the values of his parents. Parsons got his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in 1924 and went on to do graduate work at the London School of Economics where he was introduced both to Sociology and to the great functional anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. The following year, Parsons studied at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he was introduced to Max Weber’s work and was deeply influenced by him (although Weber had died five years before Parsons came to Heidelberg, his influence still survived). Parsons also introduced Weber to the English-speaking academic world by translating The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of…show more content…
This grand design would give a conception of the social system as a single unified system. The basic unit of analysis of social theory according to Parsons was the total social system. He wanted to create “an all-encompassing theory”, a framework within the limits of which all kinds of social action takes place. This theoretical schema would also help us understand the conceptual terms like structures, functions and systems and how these are synthesized into a unified whole which presents a sort of a map that would guide us in our understanding of social actions of various kinds. Parsons tried to create a macro theory in contradiction to the pragmatic and grounded theories prevalent in American sociology at that time (contributed by the Chicago
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