Download e-book for kindle: Action Theory and the Human Condition by Talcott Parsons

By Talcott Parsons

ISBN-10: 0029239907

ISBN-13: 9780029239902

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Here, of course, responsible administrators or executives have authority, according to established rules, to "enforce" the agency's policies either on non-members (for example, taxpayers in the case of the Bureau of Internal Revenue) or on its own members. The question is bound to arise as to who holds the administrators accountable. The most important mechanism for such a check is the authority of elective office, whereby executive implementers are responsible to elected officials who, in turn, are responsible to an electorate.

The question is bound to arise as to who holds the administrators accountable. The most important mechanism for such a check is the authority of elective office, whereby executive implementers are responsible to elected officials who, in turn, are responsible to an electorate. This set of institutions is particularly conspicuous in the field of private organizations within the limits of the latter's jurisdiction. Just as the first pair of mechanisms leaves important gaps in necessary or desirable controls because it is difficult to insure that the self-interest of acting units will effectively coordinate with the objectives of such control, so the second pair just mentioned leaves gaps in the "enforceability" of controls through the exercise of authority.

It is a somewhat different question, whether, for example, the role in marriage of the partners, by virtue of the fact that they belong to opposite sex categories is or is not asymmetrical. I think it is in certain respects. This issue, however, will not be involved in the present discussion. Subject to these limitations, then, I think it is important to distinguish three principal types of hierarchically asymmetrical roles. The first concerns the relation between the incumbent of elective office in the democratic association as that concept was reviewed above, including of course, governmental office, and other members.

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Action Theory and the Human Condition by Talcott Parsons


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