In Defense of Modernity: Talcott Parsons and the Utilitarian Tradition

  title={In Defense of Modernity: Talcott Parsons and the Utilitarian Tradition},
  author={Leon H. Mayhew},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={1273 - 1305}
  • Leon H. Mayhew
  • Published 1 May 1984
  • History
  • American Journal of Sociology
Parsonian thought, often labeled conservative, is more accurately characterized as liberal. Despite Parson's well-known critique of early modern liberalism in its utilitarian form, his own thought progressively incorporated the utilitarian image of a modern social order. Early liberal thought sought to establish that social solidarity could rest on free communication and consent. Late Parsonian theory came to criticize attacks on the alleged utilitarian atomism of modern society as destructive… 
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