2nd Edition

The Social System

By Talcott Parsons Copyright 1991

    This book brings together, in systematic and generalized form, the main outlines of a conceptual scheme for the analysis of the structure and processes of social systems. It carries out Pareto's intention by using the "structural-functional" level of analysis.

    1. The Action Frame of Reference and the General Theory of Action Systems: Culture, Personality and the Place of Social Systems 2. The Major Points of Reference and Structural Components of the Social System 3. The Structure of the Social System, I: The Organization of the Components into Sub-Systems 4. The Structure of the Social System, II: Invariant Points of Reference for the Structural Differentiation and Variation of Societies 5. The Structure of the Social System, III: Empirical Differentiation and Variation in the Structure of Societies 6. The Learning of Social Role-Expectations and the Mechanisms of Socialization of Motivation 7. Deviant Behavior and the Mechanisms of Social Control 8. Belief Systems and the Social System: The Problem of the "Role of Ideas" 9. Expressive Symbols and the Social System: The Communication of Affect 10. Social Structure and Dynamic Process: The Case of Modem Medical Practice 11. The Processes of Change of Social Systems 12. Conclusion: The Place of Sociological Theory Among the Analytical Sciences of Action


    With a new preface on interpreting Parsons by Professor Bryan S. Turner, University of Essex.