Talcott Parsons John Gillin. New York: Macmillan.

Talcott Parsons. 1954. “Psychology and Sociology.” Pp. 67-101 (Chapter 4) in For a Science
of Social Man: Convergences in Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology, edited by
John Gillin. New York: Macmillan.
A society is a social system comprised of social systems, the smallest of which is the human
personality. Each system consists of culturally-organized actions. Personalities are
meaningfully (i.e., culturally) organized in accordance with roles. Latency (i.e., periods of
potential role-reactivation during role-inactivity) is symptomatic of a healthy personality. Its
absence indicates a sick personality into which roles have not been internalized. Accordingly,
there are two problem-areas where psychologists may be able to assist sociologists. On the one
hand, they may provide insights into therapies appropriate for curing already-sick personalities.
On the other hand, psychological theories may help sociologists understand the dynamics of
internalization during childhood socialization. Once socialized, people are free to participate in
action-systems based on enactments of their own and others’ roles.