Lecture 1

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Published on 25 Oct 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Sociology
Course
SOCC40H3
Professor
SOCC40 Lecture 1
Why Parsons?
-was the towering giant of all of sociology and sociological theory from 30s-60
-everyone else defined themselves in reference to Parsons
-can’t understand anything else without understanding him
Was the first person to translate Weber into English and brought Durkheim to
North America
-Parsons turned them into classics
His style of theorizing was a very synthetic approach
Wanted framework for studying human action in general
-put all others work together
Next thing he did was to develop a general theory of the basic structures that
he thought you could find in any social system and the basic functions that a
social system has to fill to maintain itself
-the kind of patterns he tried to find were normative patterns; made up
something called pattern barrier
Tried to understand functions; why it came to be known as structural
functions
-what is it that any society has to do so that it doesn’t collapse?
-he argued it has to integrate everyone; feeling of ‘we-ness’; or society will
become war of all against all
What does it mean that more society is more involved than another?
BURTON
Was one of Parson’s students
Critique of Parson’s in a friendly way
Came to be great figure of mid-century sociology
Devised understanding of sociological theory that was more fruitful
-Parsons was more interested in developing general theory of social system
Manifest vs. latent function
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Document Summary

Was the towering giant of all of sociology and sociological theory from 30s-60. Everyone else defined themselves in reference to parsons. Can"t understand anything else without understanding him: was the first person to translate weber into english and brought durkheim to. Parsons turned them into classics: his style of theorizing was a very synthetic approach, wanted framework for studying human action in general. The kind of patterns he tried to find were normative patterns; made up something called pattern barrier: tried to understand functions; why it came to be known as structural functions. Burton: was one of parson"s students, critique of parson"s in a friendly way, came to be great figure of mid-century sociology, devised understanding of sociological theory that was more fruitful. Parsons was more interested in developing general theory of social system: manifest vs. latent function. Idea of self-fulfilling prophecy; false ideas become true because people believe them.

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