chapter  7
36 Pages

On the Individualistic Theory of Social Order

WithAlessandro Pizzorno

In 1936, a very ambitious sociological work was published—Talcott Parsons's The Structure of Social Action—which aimed to reconstruct a sociological tradition. The notion of social roles, or positions, as patterns of interaction that last independently from the physical continuity of the incumbents induces and stabilizes the idea that to defect would deprive one of the future advantages of cooperation. The notion of social roles, or positions, as patterns of interaction that last independently from the physical continuity of the incumbents induces and stabilizes the idea that to defect would deprive one of the future advantages of cooperation. Social institutions provide for boundaries and distinctions to be recognized and to endure. A social boundary is any sign that allows a social entity to be recognized as distinct. Until the boundary holds, that entity will be conceived as being the same.