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Classic on Classic: Parsons' Interpretation of Durkheim
American Sociological Review
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Aug., 1973), pp. 399-415
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094211
Page Count: 17
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Parsons' commentary on Emile Durkheim's work, first set forth in The Structure of Social Action and later developed is undoubtedly the most influential interpretation yet to appear in English. Parsons attempts to document Durkheim's shift from positivism to the voluntaristic theory of action and to idealism. Neither attempt is successful. Parsons' interpretation often seems as much a function of his own perspectives as of Durkheim's. Examination of Durkheim's theory in light of his intentions and assumptions reveals serious errors in Parsons' analysis.
American Sociological Review © 1973 American Sociological Association