Picture by Lois Lord
|Died||May 8, 1979
Talcott Parsons (December 13, 1902 – May 8, 1979) was an American sociologist of the
Based on empirical data, Parsons' social action theory was the first broad, systematic, and generalizable theory of
Although Parsons is generally considered a
From the 1970s, a new generation of sociologists criticized Parsons' theories as socially conservative and his writings as unnecessarily complex. Sociology classrooms have placed less emphasis on his theories than at the peak of his popularity, from the 1940s to the 1970s. However, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in his ideas.  
Parsons was a strong advocate for the professionalization of sociology and its expansion in American academia. He was elected president of the American Sociological Association in 1949 and served as its secretary from 1960 to 1965.
He was born on December 13, 1902 in
Parsons' family is one of the oldest families in American history; his ancestors were some of the first to arrive from
On his mother's side, the Ingersoll line was connected with Edwards and from Edwards on would be a new, independent Parsons line because Edwards' eldest daughter, Sarah, married Elihu Parsons on June 11, 1750.