This new edition introduces the social science audiences of a new century to one of the classic highlights of the mid-twentieth century. This is the most general statement of the general theory of action as it was developed by its principle exponent, Talcott Parsons, and his close collaborators who formed the core of the fabled department of social relations at Harvard University. Toward a General Theory of Action is an extremely ambitious formulation of the ingredients, dimensions, and ranges that determine human behavior.Parsons and Shils enunciate principles that are at the core of contemporary social science preoccupations -- including the precarious balance between social integration and conflict. The volume is at once universal in intent and highly personal, an expression of Parsons' thought, one of the most notable sociological theorists of the century. Finally, the book symbolizes the interdisciplinary impulse that typified a widespread belief in the unity of the sciences.Parsons, Talcott is the author of 'Toward a General Theory of Action Theoretical Foundations for the Social Sciences', published 2001 under ISBN 9780765807182 and ISBN 0765807181.