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SOC 302 Talcott Parson Notes

by: Paula Tattoni

SOC 302 Talcott Parson Notes SOC 302

Marketplace > University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa > Sociology > SOC 302 > SOC 302 Talcott Parson Notes
Paula Tattoni

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About this Document

Notes that we covered for Talcott Parson!
Sociological Theory
Chenoia N. Bryant
Class Notes
sociology, sociological theory, SOC302, Talcott Parson
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Paula Tattoni on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 302 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Chenoia N. Bryant in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Sociological Theory in Sociology at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 02/21/16
T alcott Parson (1902-1979) Tuesday, February 16, 2016 2:57 PM  Towering US sociologist  Bridge to classical theory  Catalyst to contemporary theory  Interested in abstract, generalized conceptualization  Theory to facilitate and synthesize rigorous description and analysis A Society as a Social System a Society, a self-contained, social action system b Comprised of 4 sub-systems of action (social institutions) whose functions maintain the system i Adaptation to the environment (economy) ii Goal attainment (politics) iii Integration (law) iv Pattern maintenance (socialization) B Theory of Action a Unit Act i Social Actors (individuals, organization, nations, etc.) ii Ends/Goals/Objectives iii Concrete Situation/Environment iv Values Orientation B Social Action a Voluntarist; actors make choices b Actors have freedom to act within certain cultural constraints c Choices are always constrained by societal values and norms B Socialization a Critical to motivating social action b Transmits a society's shared values/norms/behavior expectations c Integrates individuals into a society's functionally requisite social relationships and roles B Social Differentiation a Industrialization produces institutional differentiation and specialization i Separate functional/institutional spheres (work, family, education, religion) ii Separate, but independent institution/spheres are integrated by shared value-commitments B Pattern Variables a Institutionalized values orientations b Contrasting Orientations: i Universalistic v. Particularistic ii Specificity v. Diffuseness iii Achievement v. Affectivity iv Self v. Collectivity B Pattern Variables a Norms characterizing professional occupational relationships differ from family relationships b Similarly, the institutionalized norms in modern societies differ from those in traditional society B Modernization Theory a Driven by economic/industrial development and institutional differentiation b Modernization includes urbanization of education, secularization or religious decline, changing norms favoring achievement over ascribed or inherited family status B Modernization a The US as the exemplar of modernization b All economically developed societies alleged to show similar modernization characteristics i Instances of uneven modernization and cultural lag B Stratification/Inequality a Modernization: equality of opportunity b Status differentials persist; achievement based c Status/resource competition produces strain d Separate family and gender roles functional to social order B Robert Merton (1910-2003) a Middle-Range Theory: close to empirical realities b Functional Analysis: description of patterns points to their functions i Manifest Functions: objective and recognized adaptive consequences ii Latent Functions: neither intended nor recognized B Actions Have Multiple Consequences a Functional Consequences b Dysfunctional Consequences: can produce societal strain and facilitate social change c Irrelevant Consequences B Deviance a Gap between cultural goals and the institutional means for the achievement of those norms b Different Modes of Adaptation: i Conformity: believe in American Dream and the means of obtaining it ii Innovation: believe in the dream/goal, but find another way do it iii Adaptation: believe in Dream but come up with mechanism of own that mimic acceptable means but are not exactly the same iv Ritualism: don’t believe in dream or means to obtain it, but go along with it anyway v Retreatism: don't believe in the dream or the means, but set own goal and own means to obtain said goals; come up with something else to replace both in their own terms B Moving Parsons Forward a Jeffery Alexander i Civil Sphere (civil associations, social movements, etc.) 1 Differentiated from non-civil sphere (economy, state, etc. 2 Possibility for increasing societal solidarity/integration B Moving Parsons in New Directions a Niklas Luhmann: Systems Theory i Society as system in which voluntarist action not relevant/not present 1 Marginalizes cultural motivations and social structures ii Society: self-contained and self-regulated systems of logic


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