Talcott Parsons

Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, Talcott Parsons Pages: 4 (1236 words) Published: May 2, 2006
Talcott Parsons was a very revered American sociologist. Parsons came from a very religious and socially aware family. At first studying biology, Parsons soon got attracted to the world of economics and sociology. To get a wide variety of different view, Parsons studied not only in America, but in Europe as well. Parsons began teaching at Harvard where he was exposed to sociological thinking. Parsons influenced all types of Sociology, though his views were considered controversial. Focusing on social actions and systems, he believed that morality is the main ingredient to preserve social order. Parsons worked earlier sociologists' views into a theory of social action, or the action theory. These ideas look into today's society and its institutional structures, which work to clarify action and to gain from it. Parsons' functionalism, influenced by Bronislaw Malinowski, sparked a debate. Other sociologist challenged and critiqued his beliefs. These challenges only increased the significance of his theories. Parsons' principal focused on the study of social action and its components. He examined surroundings to determine why and if they influenced the social system. Parsons received high honors for his accomplishments in sociology. He was considered the most intelligent sociologist of his era. Talcott Parsons was born on December 13, 1902 in Colorado Springs. His family consisted of five siblings and his mother and father, Mary Ingersol Parsons and Edward Parson. Parsons was academically pushed by his father, who was the first in the family to attend college. Although of Christian faith, his family was still interested in the sciences of Darwinism, which gave Parsons an early view of science. He attended high school at Horace Mann High School in New York City. After graduation, he started his studies at Amherst College. Parsons majored in biology, but shifted his thoughts to sociology later in his learning experience at Amherst. In 1924, Talcott graduated from...
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