The social system according to Talcott Parson

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2010

7 Pages, Grade: Master of Sociology


ABSTRACT. In this paper the social system will be treated according to Talcott Parsons thought, always drawing attention to segments of the social system which he considers essential in welfare to the social process. His conclusion that society is essentially a complexity of parts in cooperation, proves his influence on the functionally approach, respectively Durkheim thoughts, however, Parsons was awarded a significant complexity to this approach. There are several reasons why Parsons ideas are important: First, they had an impact on American sociology and beyond; Second, incorporate these ideas into its own collision between individual shares of the individual and social system; Thirdly, this crash is ongoing and this is a fact that needs further study the social system; And finally Parsons ideas on the functioning of social system are provocative and descriptive. On the biggest, his ability is how to include the Durkheim ideas in his scheme.

Key words: social system, functionalism, macro perspective, micro perspective, socialization, social control, gemeinschaft, gesellschaft.


If you think you understand some of these things at first reading, let this be a warning. You will get something, but to really understand you must go back and back and back.

Parsons, A Short Account of

My Intellectual Development

On December 13, 1902 in Colorado Spring was born Talcott Parsons. He was the son of the president of Marietta College in Ohio. Since the time of his graduation he was determined to further studies in social sciences and from the beginning was under the influence of the Bronislaw Malinowksy. In 1925 he went to the University of Heidelberg, which won the title PhD in economics. Very soon at the University of Harvard he hired instructor of economics title. In 1931 he moved to the newly opened Department of Sociology and for seven years he stayed in the same position without any big name. The turning point in his academic journey was the publication of the work of "social structure of action" in 1937, an event which brought instant fame and lasting. Since the early 1950s, Talcott Parsons had become the most prominent social theorist, to say no more controversial in the United States of America.

How Talcott Parsons defines social system? Which segments Parsons treats that he considered essential in social processes?

In the United States of America, Talcott Parson regarded as the first holder of functionalist approach in the country and the main contributor to the work of Durkheim and Comtes on functionalist approach. His main preoccupation was how sociologists should analyze social systems, with particular emphasis on how to build their approach to the study of family, bureaucracy, and the structure of political and other social categories. Most critics see as the biggest maker of sociological thought. Furthermore, some claim to have been the most influential figure in the establishment of academic sociology in the United States of America.


Excerpt out of 7 pages


The social system according to Talcott Parson
University of Prishtina  (University of Prishtina)
Sociology - Social System, Social Structure, Class, Social Stratification
Master of Sociology
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
513 KB
Talcott, Parson, Master, Sociology
Quote paper
Besnik Fetahu (Author), 2010, The social system according to Talcott Parson, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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