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Ss09 Acs Parsons

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Ss09 Acs Parsons

  1. 1. Talcott Parsons Theory of Action Universität Konstanz, FB Geschichte und Soziologie Seminar: American Cultural Sociology Dozent: Werner Binder, M.A. Referent: Sven Giersig 4.5.2009 / SS2009 1
  2. 2. 0) agenda (1) overview of the core concepts (2) linkage to empirical findings in „Democracy and Social Structure in Pre-Nazi Germany“ 2
  3. 3. 1) core concepts action personalities social systems cultural systems 3
  4. 4. 1) action behaviour, oriented to attainment of ends occurs in situations with objects, thus in relations to objects objects: cathected / significances attached -> organized in ,systems of orientations‘ objects: goals, resources, means, conditions, obstacles, symbols system of orientations: cognitive; selection from and evaluation of alternatives 4
  5. 5. 1) personalities def: the organized system of the orientation and motivation of action of one individual actor 5
  6. 6. 1) social systems def: the process of interaction of a plurality of actors; made up of relationships of individuals (but not simply a plurality of personalities!) 6
  7. 7. 1) cultural systems def: a system of symbolic patterns characteristics: 1. constituted by organization of values, norms & symbols (which guide choices and limit types of interaction) 2. not empirical; represents abstractions of social systems and personalities 3. (certain degree of) consistency and thus interrelated 4. forming value systems, belief systems and systems of expressive symbols 7
  8. 8. 1) values stabilize ,double contingency‘ (reciprocity of expectations) alter & ego both expect expectations, therefor they need to generalize how to communicate and react appropriately normative regulation of ,criteria of selection‘ 8
  9. 9. 2) Pre-Nazi Germany „Prussian Conservatism“ interdependent pictures taken from commons.wikimedia.org 9
  10. 10. 2) Pre-Nazi Germany „Prussian Conservatism“ interdependent - feudal - militaristic - bureaucratic - authoritarian features pictures taken from commons.wikimedia.org 9
  11. 11. 2) Empirical findings in „Pre-Nazi Germany“ 10
  12. 12. 2) Empirical findings in „Pre-Nazi Germany“ „The nature and sources of the mal-integration of cultural patterns are as important to the theory of action as the integration itself“ 10
  13. 13. 2) Empirical findings in „Pre-Nazi Germany“ „The nature and sources of the mal-integration of cultural patterns are as important to the theory of action as the integration itself“ „The group of problems centering around conformity, alienation (...) are among the most crucial (...) because of their relevance to problems of social stability and change“ Parsons (1959): Some fundamental Categories of the Theory of Action, p.20/22 10
  14. 14. let‘s take a look at the text 11
  15. 15. let‘s take a look at the text in terms / layers of: personality: cathexis and cognition social system: integration; distribution of power and prestige cultural system: value systems, belief systems, expressive symbols integration / disintegration 12

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