Social Theory On The Social System

1586 Words7 Pages
Parsonian theory focuses on the social system as the means for binding the individual to society through a series of interconnected levels that all have different functions but stress the social norms and values (Layder, 2006). Central to these social functions was adaption, goal-attainment, integration and latency (Layder, 2006), which connect the external environment to internal organisations within society through a number of sub-systems that connect functions to various pattern variables (Baert, 1998). This Parsons argues is achieved through ‘social roles’, that establish a connection between the individual and society, by enabling people to meet their so-called needs through a number of social arrangements (Layder, 2006). This essay will look at sex-roles and the sick role, as a way to understand how this concept functions as means to hold society together, but also the some of the criticism that the concept faces by examining the ideas put forward by Parson. The concept of ‘social rule’ in Parsonian theory is considered important in understanding how individuals interact but as a means for getting a true understanding of society it falls relatively short. In his discussion of the concept of ‘social role’, Parsons makes significance reference to sex-roles that characterise the distinct roles given to men and women (Parsons, 1954). Just what these sex-roles are, is examined by Parsons in his study of kinship in which he argues that the role of husband is considered
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