Jumat, 20 Mei 2011


I.                   Social Action ( The Action System is Based On A Person Voluntaristic

Some of the basic components of the system of action Parsons is normative orientation (which includes norms, values, and ideas), goals, means, and situational conditions. Parsons initiate action models from individualistic. No individuals acting without a purpose. He has the means, methods, and techniques. The ‘purpose’ is the overall state of concrete in the future is expected. Parsons realizes that in any action that actors usually are in a controlled situation and sometimes in an uncontrolled situation. A controlled situations is called the conditions of action, while the uncontrolled situation is called the means. In this theory, Parsons wanted to say that the actor is not a pure active perpetrator because there are some basic elements that affect such purpose, means, conditions, and some rules/norms in society, so it can take an appropriate decision with these elements.[1]
For the information, Parsons developed the theory of social action through the analysis of some European social theorists, namely Alfred Marshall, Vilfredo Pareto, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. The four figures are combined in the theory of social action anyone who turned out to have a voluntaristic nature (although different in his starting point.) When viewed from this combining theory, then Parsons' theory is a synthesis of the point of view of positivism and idealism. One thing that is rational (positivism) are required to make a social system in line with expectations in the future (idealism).[2] This is the smallest social reality of each individual action that moves with its own objectives.

II.                The Social System
Parsons developed again his social theory in the book Toward A General Theory of Action about the role of each actor in a larger system of individual self, that is aware of the subjective orientations are different from each other. Parsons divided it into two subjective orientation, the orientation of values ​​(refer to the normative standards that control the individual choices and priorities in relation to the different needs and goals) and motivational orientation (refer to the individual's desire to increase satisfaction and reduce disappointment).[3]
Both orientations are respectively classified in 3 dimensions. On motivation orientation, there is Cognitive Dimension (how the actor knows the situation), Cathectic (affective reactions/emotional of actor), evaluative (judgments actor to choose between the cognitive or cathectic). On the dimension of value orientation, there is Cognitive (providing standards the validity/received at least one interpretation of the situation), appreciative (providing standards of validity/received at least one interpretation of affective involvement), moral (providing the abstract standards of one's actions and their implications to the system).[4] Through these orientations of each individual to socialize with other individuals and establish a social system.[5]
In social systems, Parsons describes the main features of relations in the process of interaction with the form of five pairs, each consisting of two conflicting alternatives. The five couples are 1) affectivity-affectivity neutrality, the system that determines when and where people in situations are allowed to follow their spontaneous feelings and if needs that feeling is pressed, 2) self-orientation-collectivity orientation, the actor have to choose between a private or public interests, but this is different from selfishness; 3) Universalism-particularism, concerns about whether a person should act on the basis of general principles or of relations specifically to suit the expectations of many and standards that they become the view of many people; 4) ascription-achievement, the assessment of a person by who they are or what they do. And  maybe, Is he respected because of their status, position, or because of his talent; 5) diffuseness-specificity, the situation of interaction where people who interact to direct themselves to the specific nature of the relationship and there is also a direct interaction with no limits direction of their relationship. Through the principal characteristics of this relation can be concluded that the social system determines what some one to do in his role within the social framework.
After forming the system theory of action in such a way, Parsons constructing three analytical systems, namely: the social system - the framework of the interactive relationships between actors are largely determined by social roles, Personality System - someone who aims to gain traction through a built-in biological, Cultural System - aspects actions that organize characteristic of a variety of symbols and form a pattern of meaning as a form of basic systems, beliefs and ideas. Through the social system, Parsons maked the pattern variable  to give an explanation about the operation of social systems. In Cuff’s models, Variable A - Gemeinschaft is Agrarian Society, namely: affectivity, collectivity orientation, particularism, ascription, and diffuseness, and Variable B – Gesellschaft is Industrial Society, namely: affectivity neutrality, self-orientation, universalism, and achievement.[6]

III.               Structural Fungsional
The pattern of action systems until the variables above are used by Parsons to analyze different types of individual orientation in a relationship of social interaction. Through these analysis emerged the functional requirements of social system, and Parsons be famous because of his structural functional in a society.
There is one more concept for Parsons to see the transition from individual action to social structure, that is the role (roles) which are divided into liability-responsibility and the right-response. The roles of these individuals have a hoping in a collectivity that apply to meet the mechanism of the social system itself. The mechanisms that produce conformity is the primary purpose of Parsons with his functional analysis, coupled with the concept of internalization and institutionalization.[7] Internalization refers to a unified system of personality with cultural values orientation, so that is how the role arises in accordance with the system. Internalization of values ​​that become the common view is the integration of motivational behavior in the social structure (Mechanisms of Socialization) and lead to the institutionalization of the social system itself (Mechanisms of social control).[8]
Parsons formulates four functional prerequisites that must be met by the community, namely:[9] 1) Adaptation, adjusting the demands of the environment and its needs; 2) Goal Attainment, the actions of individuals in the community systems are directed at a common goal in which its activities are the means; 3) Integration, the level of solidarity for a unit in social systems; and 4) latency (pattern maintenance), from within the social system itself should be attempted to maintain the pattern of interaction. Usually cultural systems become part of this maintenance, such as ritual, may be education. Functional scheme is better known as the AGIL.
Furthermore, Parsons in his book, Economy and Society, developed four functional prerequisites of this by basing economic activity as a social activity. Money means a medium of exchange rates or exchange of common symbolic. ‘Economic’ entry in the ‘Adaptation’ that organize the community to obtain a living; ‘States’ devoted in the  ‘Goal Attainment’ through politics and administration; ‘Social system’ as a platform for integrating inter-individu within the group; ‘Cultural system’ as a guardian of social interaction in society. Parsons described the pattern of this functional fourth with cybernetic control through a hierarchy arrangement of control the LIGA, the patterns of cultural value in the system (L) controls the norms of the social system (I), which control the motives in the personality system with system is based upon relationships between individu one another (G), and finally into a system in its physical environment (A).[10] Jackson Toby, in Ritzer book,[11] there is a final reaction at the highest level (above the cultural system) which is something that sounds metaphysical, but not something supernatural when talking about the uncertainty, anxiety, and social life tragedy. In Johnson's book,[12] this phenomena remain in the cultural system because categories such as rain dances ritual, and activities nonempirical also part of cultural values.
Parsons divides the social structure to a differentiation in a social system, such as political organization, religion, and others which describe the differences in society. However, unfortunately not too deep Parsons discussed social change and conflict in society through his social differentiation. He only emphasized about specific normative in a particular social community, and the common value orientation can be the basis for unity in a complex society.[13]

IV.               Notion
This Social systems theory is greatest achievement of Parsons. Moreover, his efforts combining between positivism to idealism, which in time became two important Western traditions. A detailed review from the individu actions to the concept of community that consists of the many roles of individu who made ​he famous among social theorists in Europe. However, according to me, Parsons forgot to think of the deepest desires of an individu that against his deepest part of desire was disturbed by the role performed of other and it’s also a concern Hobbesian homo homini lupus​​, in which people have strong encouragement to them feelings for sustain life. Parsons has been leveraging this in main features of relations in the process of interaction of affectivity someone, but he seemed push the affectivity that someone has through the demands of own social system. Parsons did not look that the social system itself is shaped by each individual NEEDS which at its core remains back to the gratification of individuals - not the demands of the role that must be done.

Beilharz, Peter. Teori-teori Sosial: Observasi Kritis Terhadap Para Filosof Terkemuka.  Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, cet.ke-3.  2005.
Cuff,  E. C. dan G. C. F. Payne (edt.).  Perspectives in Sociology.  George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 1979.
Gerhardt, Uta.  Talcott Parsons: An Intellectual Biography.  New York: Cambridge University Press. 2002.
Johnson, Doyle Paul.  Teori Sosiologi Klasik dan Modern yang diindonesiakan oleh Robert M. Z. Lawang.  Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama. 1990.
Parsons, Talcott. The Structure of Social Action: A Study in Social Theory with Special Reference to A Group of Recent European Writers.  Toronto: Collier-Macmillan Canada, Ltd., Fourth Printing. 1966.
------------------- . On Institutions and Social Evolution.  London: The University of Chicago Press. 1982.
------------------- . The Social System.  Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group, 2nd ed. 2005.
Ritzer, George – Douglas J. Goodman, Teori Sosiologi Modern: Edisi Keenam yang diindonesiakan oleh Alimandan.  Jakarta: Kencana. 2007.
Susilo, Rachmad K. Dwi. 20 Tokoh Sosiologi Modern: Biografi Para Peletak Sosiologi Modern.  Yogyakarta: Ar-Ruzz Media. 2008.
Turner, H. Jonathan.  The Structure of Sociological Theory: Sixth Edition.  USA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. 1988.
Veeger, K. J.  Realitas Sosial: Refleksi Filsafat Atas Hubungan Individu Masyarakat dalam Cakrawala Sejarah Sosiologi.  Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, cet.ke-4. 1993.

[1] Talcott Parsons, The Structure of Social Action: A Study in Social Theory with Special Reference to A Group of Recent European Writers (Toronto: Collier-Macmillan Canada, Ltd., Fourth Printing, 1966), 44.
[2] Doyle Paul Johnson, Teori Sosiologi Klasik dan Modern which is translated  to Indonesian by Robert M. Z. Lawang (Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 1990), 106-109.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Jonathan H. Turner, The Structure of Sociological Theory: Sixth Edition (USA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1988), 31.
[5]  See Talcott Parsons, On Institutions and Social Evolution (London: The University of Chicago Press, 1982), 97.
[6] E. C. Cuff dan G. C. F. Payne (edt.), Perspectives in Sociology (George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1979), 43.
[7]  Johnson, Teori Sosiologi …, 123-124.
[8] Turner, The Structure …, 33.
[9] Ibid., 34.   See George Ritzer-Douglas J. Goodman, Teori Sosiologi Modern: Edisi Keenam which is translated  to Indonesian by Alimandan (Jakarta: Kencana, 2007), 121.
[10] Turner,  The Structure …, 36.
[11]  Ritzer-Duoglas, Teori Sosiologi …, 123.
[12] Johnson, Teori Sosiologi …, 111.
[13] Ibid.

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