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- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- Talcott Parsons, the "incurable theorist" in his own words,... brought together, in a systematic and generalized form, the main outlines of a conceptual scheme of social action and systems (e.g. 1951). His frame of reference focused on the description of the system of institutionalized roles, motivational process, economic exchange, political power and other Issues that according to his view should be included in a general sociological theory.
- Bela H. Banathy (1985) Proceedings, Society for General Systems Research international. Vol 1. p. xxv
- Research is something that everyone can do, and everyone ought to do. It is simply collecting information and thinking systematically about it. The word ‘research’ carries overtones of abstruse statistics and complex methods, white coats and computers. Some social research is highly specialised but most is not; much of the best research is logically very straightforward. Useful research on many problems can be done with small resources, and should be a regular part of the life of any thoughtful person involved in social action.
- Raewyn Connell et al. (1975). How to do small surveys – a guide for students in sociology, kindred industries and allied trades. School of Social Sciences. Flinders University. p. 1.
G - L
M - R
- The most promising lines of development of theory in the sociological and most immediately related fields, particularly the psychological and cultural, therefore, seem to be two-fold. One major direction is the theoretical elaboration and refinement of structural-functional analysis of social systems, including the relevant problems of motivation and their relation to cultural patterns. In this process, the structure of social action provides a basic frame of reference, and aspects of it become of direct substantive importance at many specific points. The main theoretical task, however, is more than a refinement of the conceptual scheme of the presently reprinted book — it involves transition and translation to a different level and focus of theoretical systematization.
- Talcott Parsons (1949) The structure of social action: a study in social theory with special reference to a group of recent European writers. Preface second edition, 1949
S - Z
- Whereas some consequences of our actions occur as planned, others are unanticipated; social actions are not context-free but are constrained, and their outcomes are shaped by the setting in which they occur. Especially significant are the constraints on action that arise from commitments enforced by institutionalization. Because organizations are social systems, goals and procedures tend to achieve an established, value impregnated status. We say that they become institutionalized.
- Philip Selznick (1949). TVA and the grass roots : a study in the sociology of formal organization, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. pp. 256-257
- Social action is "such action as, according to its subjective meaning to the actor or actors, involves the attitudes and actions of others and is oriented to them in its course."