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Talcott Parsons and Modern Sociology
By Peter Hamilton
with François Chazel

May 2014, hardback, 218pp.
ISBN: 978-1-905622-09-2
GEMAS Studies in Social Analysis

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Talcott Parsons (1902–1979) was the leading American sociologist of the twentieth century, whose theories were both highly influential from the 1940s until the 1970s and subject to extensive critique from the 1960s. Yet Parsons’s work was wide ranging and contributed to the development of a number of social sciences as well as sociology. Since the mid-1980s new scholarship in Europe and elsewhere has increasingly emphasised the pivotal role of his achievements.

This book provides both a concise introduction to the central ideas and concepts of this “key sociologist” by Peter Hamilton and a new essay by the eminent French sociologist François Chazel on the reception of his work in Europe, where much of the reconsideration of the significance of his contribution has been centred.


Contents

Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the GEMAS Studies in Social Analysis Edition
Acknowledgements
A Note on Abbreviations
The Vicissitudes of Parsons’s Reception in Continental Europe: An Introduction by François Chazel

CHAPTER ONE - Systems Theory
CHAPTER TWO - The Three Phases of Parsonian Theory
CHAPTER THREE - A Biographical Sketch
CHAPTER FOUR - The Parsons1 Phase
CHAPTER FIVE - The Parsons2 Phase
CHAPTER SIX - The Parsons3 Phase

Conclusion
Appendix: Harvard Ph.D. Students Taught by Talcott Parsons 1936–70
A Select Bibliography of Talcott Parsons
Index

About the Author

Peter Hamilton is an Associate Research Fellow of GEMASS, and was previously Lecturer in Sociology at The Open University, in the UK. He is the author of a number of books on sociology and sociologists, and on the history of photography and photographers. He is the founding editor of the Key Sociologists and Key Ideas series published by Routledge, and co-editor of the GEMAS Studies in Social Analysis series.

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