The Social Theories of Talcott Parsons: A Critical Examination

The Social Theories of Talcott Parsons: A Critical Examination

The Social Theories of Talcott Parsons: A Critical Examination

The Social Theories of Talcott Parsons: A Critical Examination

Excerpt

The following essays have resulted from an intensive study at Cornell University of the work of Talcott Parsons. A group of ten faculty members, who had been both puzzled and stimulated by Parsons' writings, met regularly during the academic year of 1957-58 for discussion. In the next academic year, there followed a series of seven public seminars, widely attended by faculty and graduate students, culminating in a session at which Parsons himself answered the criticisms he had received. The papers here assembled are revised and elaborated versions of studies originally prepared for those seminar meetings.

The warm thanks of all concerned are due to Professor Parsons for the patience, good humor, and generous expenditure of time with which he has responded to the labors of his critics. Their esteem for him is sufficiently attested by the serious and prolonged attention they have given to his investigations. Acknowledgment is also due to Henry Landsberger, for originating the project, and to the Cornell Social Science Research Center, and its director, William F. Whyte, without whose support little could have been accomplished.

Choice of one member of the group as editor is a bibliographical convenience. While all the contributors have learned much from one another, each of them is solely responsible for the manner and matter of his contribution.

M. B. CORNELL UNIVERSITY

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