Complexity Theory & Political Change: Talcott Parsons Occupies Wall StreetSystems Science Faculty Publications and Presentations
- Talcott Parsons (1902-1979),
- Occupy Wall Street (Movement),
- Systems theory,
AbstractComplexity theory can assist our understanding of social systems and social phenomena. This paper illustrates this assertion by linking Talcott Parsons' model of societal structure to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Parsons' model is used to organize ideas about the underlying causes of the recession that currently afflicts the US. While being too abstract to depict the immediate factors that precipitated this crisis, the model is employed to articulate the argument that vulnerability to this type of event results from flaws in societal structure. This implies that such crises can be avoided only if, in Parsons' terms, structural change occurs in the relations between polity, economy, community, and culture. The Occupy movement has called attention to the need for such fundamental change.
Citation InformationZwick, M. (2014). "Complexity Theory and Political Change: Talcott Parsons Occupies Wall Street." In Complexity and the Human Experience, Modeling Complexity in the Human and Social Sciences, Paul A. Youngman & Mirsad Hadzikadic, editors, CRC Press, 2014, pp. 141-160.