Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) developed a general social theory called Action theory, based on the methodological principle of Voluntarism and the epistemological principle of analytical realism. The theory attempted to establish a balance between the utilitarian-positivist and hermeneutic-idealistic methodological traditions. For Parsons, voluntarism established a third alternative btwn these two (Wikipedia).
Talcott Parsons (December 13, 1902 – May 8, 1979) was an American sociologist who served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 to 1973. Parsons developed a general theory for the study of society called action theory, based on the methodological principle of voluntarism and the epistemological principle of analytical realism.
Functionalists look at family as universal for for fulfilling 6 things: economic production, socialization of children, care of sick, recreation, sexual control, and reproduction which are all necessary for society. They also believe incest taboos create clear lines between the relationship of the family members, forcing them to marry outside their family.
Revisiting Institutionalism in Sociology : There may not be a concept so central to sociology, yet so vaguely defined in its contemporary usages, than institution. In Revisiting Institutionalism in Sociology, Abrutyn takes an in-depth look at what institutions are by returning to some of the insights of classical theorists like Max Weber and Herbert Spencer, the functionalisms of Talcott Parsons and S.N. Eisenstadt, and the more recent evolutionary institutionalisms of Gerhard Lens...