The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

May 11, 2006

Talcott Parsons

A different sort of reference -

In 1973 I was between Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University;
a special seminar was held at the latter, with Talcott Parsons, the
premier sociologist of the day. The taping was amazing, as was Parsons.
Now, over thirty years later, a special issue of The American Journal of
Economics and Sociology is devoted to Parsons, and to the session in
particular - there's a full transcription and pictures (you can see my
back and my EIAJ deck in it - it's eerie). I'm fascinated by it; I was
contacted a few months ago concerning my part in the event. (I remember
audio buzz and the difficulty of setting up a proper wiring scheme for the
mics.) In any case, it's odd how these things return; you can order the
Journal, I think - it's Volume 65, Number 1, January 2006; you might look
for if you're interested. I think
Parsons has an important role to play in structuralism and its problema-
tic, in the analysis of the phenomenology of power, and the fall of "grand
theories." Take a look, especially if you can find it for free - Alan

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