1st Edition

The Routledge International Handbook of Talcott Parsons Studies

Edited By A. Javier Treviño, Helmut Staubmann Copyright 2022
    368 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    368 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Talcott Parsons was the leading theorist in American sociology—and perhaps in world sociology—from the 1940s to the 1970s. He created the dominant school of thought that made "Parsonian" a standard description of a theoretical attempt to unify social science, as reflected in the fact that his contributions to the discipline cover a range of issues, including medicine, the family, religion, law, the economy, race relations, and politics—to name but a few. This volume brings together leading scholars working in the field of "Parsonian Studies" to explore the background of Parsons’s work, the content of his oeuvre, and his subsequent influence. Thematically organized, it covers Parsons’s contributions and impacts in areas including the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences; cultural sociology; personality, mental illness, and psychoanalysis; and economics and political and economic sociology. In addition, it considers his influence in different areas of the world and on particular students, and offers insights into the Parsonian tradition’s practical application to contemporary social issues. An authoritative, comprehensive, and in-depth critical assessment of the Parsonian legacy, The Routledge International Handbook of Talcott Parsons Studies will appeal to scholars across the social sciences and in sociology and social theory in particular, with interests in the history of sociology and the enduring relevance of Talcott Parsons.

    1. Introduction: The Scope and Significance of Talcott Parsons Studies

    A. Javier Treviño and Helmut Staubmann

    Part I: Methodology and Philosophy of the Social Sciences


    Helmut Staubmann

    2. Backstage with the Parsons circle: Charisma, Dialogue, and Dissent in the Formation of a Theory School

    Lawrence T. Nichols

    3. Interpreting and Critiquing Talcott Parsons’s Human Condition Paradigm

    Victor M. Lidz and Harold J. Bershady

    4. The Theory of Action and the Analysis of Culture

    Victor M. Lidz

    5. The "Cognitive Complex" and Globalization: Conclusions for the Future of Higher Education and Research

    Helmut Staubmann and Victor M. Lidz

    6. Parsons/Habermas, Scientific Sociology/Critical Theory, and a Natural Law Theory of Morality

    Mark Gould

    7. The Analytical Realism of Talcott Parsons: A Sketch of the Theorist as Essay Writer Bruce C. Wearne

    Part II: Illness, Personality, and Psychoanalysis


    A. Javier Treviño

    8. Double-Deviance: The Case of Drug Offenders

    Günter Stummvoll

    9. Towards a Codification of Parsons’s Theory of Psychopathology

    A. Javier Treviño

    10. Durkheim and Freud: Parsons and the Diaglogue between Sociology and Psychoanalysis

    Raquel Weiss and Luciano Assis Mattuella

    11. The Sociological Reception of Psychoanalysis within Parsons’s "The Superego and the Theory of Social Systems"

    Katharina Hechl

    Part III: Economics and Politics


    A. Javier Treviño

    12. Parsons and Sociological Economics

    Milan Zafirovski

    13. Parsons, the Symbolic Media, and Weber’s View of Power and Stratification

    John Scott

    14. Norms, Interests, and Desirable Futures: Exploring Contemporary Political Upheavals through the Voluntaristic Theory of Action

    Bettina Mahlert

    15. Parsons on the International System and Global Society

    Gert Verschraegen

    16. The Problem of "Race" in Talcott Parsons’s Account of the Citizenship Complex

    John Holmwood

    17. Parsons and the "Problem" of Ethnicity and Race in Modern Society

    Giuseppe Sciortino

    Part IV: Parsons and His Students


    Helmut Staubmann

    18. A Revolutionary Science and its Carriers: On Talcott Parsons, Robert N. Bellah, and Teacher-Pupil Chains in Scholarly Fields

    Matteo Bortolini

    19. Talcott Parsons and Harold Garfinkel: The Development of Culture as Interaction

    Jason Turowetz and Anne Warfield Rawls

    20. Talcott Parsons and Clifford Geertz: Modernization, Functionalism, and Interpretive Social Science

    Andrea Cossu

    21. Niklas Luhmann and Talcott Parsons

    Raf Vanderstraeten

    22. Talcott Parsons and Robert K. Merton: A Bibliometric Assessment of their Intellectual Impact

    Philipp Korom

    Part V: Parsons’s Influence in Various Countries and World Regions


    Helmut Staubmann

    23. Talcott Parsons and the Tradition of Max Weber: Influence on German-Speaking Sociology

    Helmut Staubmann and Victor M. Lidz

    24. Evolutionary Universals in Czechoslovak Society: Talcott Parsons, the Prague Spring, and Structures of Interest

    Jan Balon

    25. Talcott Parsons in Brazil

    Hugo Neri and Veridiana Domingos Cordeiro

    26. Talcott Parsons and Italian Sociology: A Complex and (Perhaps) Surprising Story

    Andrea Cossu and Matteo Bortolini


    A. Javier Treviño is Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College, U.S.A. He is the author of The Social Thought of C. Wright Mills; C. Wright Mills and the Cuban Revolution: An Exercise in the Art of Sociological Imagination; and The Emerald Guide to C. Wright Mills. He is the editor of Talcott Parsons on Law and the Legal System; Talcott Parsons Today: His Theory and Legacy in Contemporary Sociology; and The Anthem Companion to Talcott Parsons.

    Helmut Staubmann is Professor of Social Theory and Cultural Sociology at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He is the editor of The Rolling Stones: Sociological Perspectives and Action Theory: Methodological Studies, and the co-editor of Rationality in the Social Sciences: The Schumpeter-Parsons Seminar 1939–40 and Current Perspectives (with Victor Lidz) and Georg Simmel: Rembrandt: An Essay in the Philosophy of Art (with Alan Scott).

    ‘En somme, cet excellent Routledge International Handbook of Talcott Parsons Studies s’avère être une inspiration pour les chercheurs en sociologie de l’action, en sociologie de l’enfance, en théories sociales. Il n’est indispensable d’être familier avec les travaux de Talcott Parsons pour pouvoir le suivre ou l’apprécier.’ – Yves Laberge, Amerika: Mémoires, identités, territoires

    'Overall, the excellent Routledge International Handbook of Talcott Parsons Studies promises to be an inspiration for researchers in the sociology of action, the sociology of childhood and in social theory. It is not essential to be familiar with the work of Talcott Parsons to be able to follow or appreciate the book.’ – Yves Laberge, Amerika: Mémoires, identités, territoires