Talcott Parsons's Theory Of System Theory

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Systems Theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems in general, and this paper will mainly explore the Systems Theory developed by Talcott Parsons, an American sociologist. The aim of his theory is to explicate the structure of a system in social sciences. Parsons perceives the social system as a composition of primary constituents of a general system of action with three other constituent units of subsystems of action. Three subsystems of action are the cultural system, the personality system, and the behavioural system, and these subsystems altogether with primary constituents, constitute four-function paradigm, namely the AGIL scheme. Talcott Parsons has often mentioned Max Weber, a German sociologist, in his writings. Through Parsons’s adaptation of some of Weber’s work, Parsons seems to be highly influenced by Weber’s theories, however, …show more content…
However, there is a slight difference in their theories. Weber, on the one hand, insists that identification of meaningful action should be related to values; on the other hand, Parsons decides to eliminate the principle of Wertbeziehung. Parsons’s definition of unit acts was not affected by the actor’s account of action, and therefore “meaning” was not the major issue with Parsons’s Action Theory. However, Parsons was influenced by bureaucracy and charisma in Weber’s theory. He stated that Weber’s conception of bureaucracy was very much ideal in the sense that it involved a leadership in a hierarchy with specificity in functions of the participants. Furthermore, Parsons reflected Weber’s conception of normative orders by forming them as “a set of prescriptions, permissions, and prohibitions” on social action. Thus, Parsons’s emendation retained Idealism and Positivism in Weber’s work, but improved from the problems of Wertbeziehung and historical

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