Talcott Parsons Biography
Birthday: December 13, 1902 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Talcott Parsons was a popular sociologist of the classical tradition from America. He is remembered for his structural functionalism and social action theory. He is unarguably one of the most influential sociologists of the twentieth century. He is also credited for introducing the work of Max Weber and Vilfredo Pareto to sociology in America. It was these very works that influenced him to develop the social action theory. His entire career that spanned nearly 32 years was spent at Harvard University where he also established the Department of Social Relations. He was elected as the president of the American Sociological Association in 1949. He also served as the secretary of this association for nearly five years from 1960 to 1965. His social action theory was, in fact, the first generalized, broad and systematic study of social systems in entire America and Europe. It is to be noted that though Parsons was a structural-functionalist during his initial days, towards the end of the career he published an article that stated that structural-functionalism was not the right way to describe his theory. Starting from the early 1970s, he was often criticized by other sociologists as they felt most of his theories were extremely conservative and unnecessarily complex.