PL EN


2009 | 31 | 2 | 41-70
Article title

The Theory of Action: Talcott Parsons and After

Authors
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
This article focuses on the problems and contradictions of sociological theories of action. It investigates critically the development of the theory of action after the Parsonian synthesis, drawing attention to the limitations of articulating the concept of action systematically within a presuppositional framework of analytical theory. Having exposed Parsons general theory of action and some interpretations and criticisms, the paper addresses the so-called 'return of grand theory', spearheaded in the early 1980s by authors such as Alexander, Habermas, Giddens and Luhmann. The article analyses the conceptual innovations introduced by their theories according to Parsons own definition of theoretical work, which - as he said - consists in reconstruction and transformation of categories in the moments of their failure. While it is argued that sociological theory cannot do away with general concepts, it is also argued that these need not have the form of a synthetic theory of action of the kind outlined by Parsons and the Post-Parsonians.
Year
Volume
31
Issue
2
Pages
41-70
Physical description
Document type
ARTICLE
Contributors
  • Jan Balon, Filosoficky ustav AV CR, Praha, Jilska 1, Praha 1, 110 00, Czech Republic; http://dlib.lib.cas.cz/5949/
References
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
CEJSH db identifier
10CZAAAA08339
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.7e710125-0ccb-3f27-9fe3-0739722be873
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