Stability and Function in Society

  • Percy Cohen


This excerpt by the British sociologist Percy Cohen is taken from his book ‘Modern Social Theory’, first published in 1968. Basically, Cohen says that there is no single satisfactory theory of social order. He examines four types of theory which have been put forward by sociological theorists, and finally he concludes that ‘All social order rests on a combination of coercion, interest and values.’


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  1. 1.
    Talcott Parsons, The Structure of Social Action ( Free Press of Glencoe, Illinois, 1949 ).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    E.g. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan ed. Michael Oakeshott (Oxford, 1946) esp. pp. 107–8.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    E.g. John Middleton and David Tate (eds), Tribes without Rulers (London, 1958 ).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Friedrich A. Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order (London, 1949) 6–1Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

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  • Percy Cohen

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