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Talcott Parsons: Power and system

DOI: 10.2298/zmsdn0824075p

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The author critically presents Talcott Parsons' theory of power. According to Parsons, power is a generalized capacity to secure the performance of binding obligations by units in a system of collective organization when the obligations are legitimized with reference to their bearing on collective goals and where in case of recalcitrance there is a presumption of enforcement by negative situational sanctions - whatever the actual agency of that enforcement. This definition of power does not offer enough satisfying answers to the issues of interest and power conflicts as well as of social and political change.


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