Talcott Parson

Topics: Sociology, Emotion, Social behavior Pages: 2 (459 words) Published: July 23, 2013
Pattern Variables (Talcott Parson)
The concept of Pattern Variables was given in book : Towards a General Theory of social action.” According to Parson, two modes of orientation drive our action: - (i) Instrumental – Non-emotional, logical, rational

(ii) Expressive –Emotional, collective, etc.
Based on the mode of orientation, there exist: qualitative differences” between different kinds of social of modes of orientation in – Personal system, cultural system, social system. Talcott Parson develops a theory of Pattern Variables for the following reasons. (i) How an actor is manifesting action in negotiation with the demands of the situation, through the application of his rational mind. (ii) How an actor faces dilemma in an action situation and resolving this dilemma through application of his rational mind). (iii) To study transformation from tradition (Expressive mode of orientation) to modernity (Instrumental mode of orientation) What dilemma or dichotomy ?

Every social interaction focus the problem of dichotomy. To resolve this actor has to make choice and take side between instrumental and expressive mode of orientation. The expressive mode of orientation represents dominant values of traditional society (Gemeinschaft) and Instrumental . mode represents dominant values of modern society (Gesellschaft) Based on this, T.Person five distinctive sets of Pattern variables:  

Geminschaft| Gesellschaft|
- Affectivity | - Affective Neutrality|
- Diffuseness| - Specificity |
- Particularism | - Universalism|
- Ascription| - Achievement|
- Collective orientation | - Self orientation|
Affectivity| Affective Neutrality.|
Actor allows feelings, emotions to dominate relationship. Eg. in family. | No feeling/ emotions in relationship eg: in Bureaucracy.|  
Diffuseness | Specificity|
Level of obligation of an actor to words counter actors is high. Actor is totally involved in counter actors. Eg: Mother – Son. | Level...
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