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By Bryan S. R. Green and Edward A. Johns (Auth.)

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G. action which follows a ritual pattern or takes the form of etiquette. 4. Affective or emotional action. 2 He does not follow the "ideal type" approach of Weber but deals with the same problem of classifying behaviour on the basis of the motivations and aims of the actor. One of Parsons's early classifications runs as follows:3 1. e. a desire for accuracy or truth), which is manifested in action as an intellectual orientation to objects or people. Objects are perceived in terms of general standards applied as universal yardsticks regardless of personal feelings or particular relationships with an object.

A social system may be anything from a two person family to a whole society including great numbers of smaller social systems. Therefore within a society there will exist a multitude of cultures. In so far as the observer is concerned with interpreting these as variations of the societal culture, then they may be referred to as sub-cultures. This term occurs frequently in studies of deviant or poorly integrated groupings such as juvenile delinquents or racial minorities. When the concern is with a particular social system in its own right, however, 44 AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY the sociologist often refers to the culture of a factory or a gang or a neighbourhood without relating it to a broader cultural context in a systematic way.

The clearest examples occur in studies of formal organizations where positions are officially defined for administrative purposes. The smallest type of social system consists of two actors and is called a dyad. Real life units such as the family, the club, the neighbourhood and so on may be analysed as social systems, though varying in size, type of interaction and activities engaged in. The largest and most comprehensive type of social system studied by sociologists is called a society. We have organized our discussion of concepts in terms of the three directions which the search for social regularities may take: (a) cultural elements; (b) the individual as social actor; (c) units of social interaction.

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