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Talcott Parsons Edit Profile

sociologist , educator.

Talcott Parsons, American sociologist, educator.


Parsons, Talcott was born on December 13, 1902 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States. Son of Edward Smith and Mary Augusta (Ingersoll) Parsons.


Graduate Horace Mann School, New York City, 1920. Bachelor of Arts, Amherst College, 1924, Doctor of Humane Letters, 1949. Student London School Economics, 1924-1925.

Doctor Phil., U. Heidelberg, (Germany), 1927. Doctor rer policy, U. Cologne (Germany), 1963. Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Chicago, 1967, University of Pennsylvania, 1974.

D.Social Science (honorary), Boston College, 1968. Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), Hebrew U., Jerusalem, 1972. D.Arts (honorary), Stonehill College, 1974.

Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Rutgers University, 1977.


Instructor economics Amherst College, 1926-1927. Instructor economics Harvard University, 1927-1931, instructor sociology, 1931-1936, assistant professor, 1936-1939, associate professor, 1939-1944, professor, 1944-1973, professor emeritus, 1973-1979, department chairman, 1944-1946, Chairman of Commission concentration in area social science, 1940-1946, department chairman social relations, 1946-1956.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism Breslau. (translation Max Weber), 1930. Structure of Social Action, 1937.

      Toward a General Theory of Action, 1951. The Social System, 1951. Essays in Sociological Theory, review edit., 1954.

      Structure and Process in Modern Societies, 1959. Social Structure and Personality, 1964. Societies

    • Evolutionary and Comparative Perspectives, 1966.

      Sociological Theory and Modern Society, 1968. Politics and Social Structure, 1969. The System of Modern Societies, 1971.

      The Evolution of Societies, 1977. Social Systems and the Evolution of Action Theory, 1977. Co-author: Working Papers on the Theory of Action, 1952.

      Family, Socialization and Interaction Process, 1955. Economy and Society, 1956. The American University, 1973.

      Co-editor: Theories of Society, 1961. Contributor to American Sociological Review, American Journal Sociology, Social Forces, Psychiatry, Journal History of Ideas, Daedalus.


Fellow Ford Center Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, 1957-1958. Member of staff Harvard School Overseas Adminstrs., 1943-1946. Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy Arts and Sciences (president 1967-1971), British Academy (correspondent), London School Economics (honorary).

Member American Philosophical Society, American (president 1949), Eastern (president 1941-1942) sociological societies, Chi Psi, Beta Kappa.


Married Helen B. Walker, April. Children: Anne (deceased), Charles, Susan.

Edward Smith Parsons

Mary Augusta (Ingersoll) Parsons

Helen B. Walker

Anne Parsons (deceased)

Charles Parsons

Susan Parsons