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ISBN: 9781773630953-04

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Theorizing Our Human Systems

From: Restless Ideas


Systems Are Everywhere … 47

Living in Systems … 52

A Brief History of the Social System … 53

The Language of Social Systems Theory … 55

From Anthropology to Sociology … 58

The Structural Functionalism of Talcott Parsons … 62

Apologists for Social Inequality: Davis and Moore … 72

The Revised Structural Functionalism of Robert Merton … 75

Beyond Functionalism: Neofunctionalism … 81

The Systems Theory of Niklas Luhmann … 84

References … 93



Tony Simmons

Tony Simmons teaches sociology at Athabasca University. He is the author of Revitalizing the Classics: What Past Social Theorists Can Teach Us Today and co-author of Reading Organizational Theory: A Critical Approach to the Study of Organizational Behaviour and Structure.