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Social system

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Title: Social system  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Systems science, Complex system, List of types of systems theory, System, Systems psychology
Collection: Social Systems, Sociological Terminology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Social system

A Social system is the patterned series of interrelationships existing between individuals, groups, and institutions and forming a coherent whole.[1]


  • Parsons 1
  • Forrester 2
  • Luhmann 3
  • See also 4
  • Sources 5
  • References 6


Talcott Parsons was the first to formulate a systematic theory of social systems, which he did as a part of his AGIL paradigm. He defined a social system as only a segment (or a "subsystem") of what he called action theory.[2]


Jay Wright Forrester described three counter-intuitive behaviours as important: causes from symptoms are often far removed in time and space, identifying leverage points and conflicting short and long-term consequences.[3]


Niklas Luhmann believes in the significance of communicative processes

See also


  • Parsons, Talcott. (1970). The System of Modern Societies, New York
  • Parsons, Talcott. (1977). Social Systems and the Evolution of Action Theory, New York
  • Parsons, Talcott. (1978). Action Theory and the Human Condition, New York


  1. ^ "Definition". Merriam Webster. November 2014. Retrieved November 2014. 
  2. ^ Parsons, Talcott. (1951). The Social System. New York: Free Press.
  3. ^ Forrester, Jay. 1971. Counterintuitive behavior of social systems. Chapter VI. Technology Review 73(3): 52–68
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