consensus

consensus, social consensus
The term consensus refers to a commonly agreed position, conclusion, or set of values, and is normally used with reference either to group dynamics or to broad agreement in public opinion . Additionally, however, it has come to be associated with the particular form of normative functionalism most fully developed in the writings of Talcott Parsons (see, for example, The Social System, 1951).
In so far as sociological theory is concerned with the problem of social order , it is possible to identify two broadly differing approaches in the history of the discipline, one of which emphasizes conflict and coercion while the other assumes a degree of social consensus in the form of agreement over values and norms . Whilst value consensus is seen as the basis of social order, the true explanatory focus is the process of socialization through the vehicle of the family, an activity upon which normative functionalists placed great emphasis.
It was commonplace, during the 1960s, to speak of the debate between the consensus and conflict schools. Enthusiasts of the former approach tended to be critical of any kind of social determinism and to argue instead that social theory must accommodate intention and choice at the level of individual action. Society should therefore be seen as the expression of a system of values and norms which have been developed and institutionalized over time by its members. Thus, in Parsons's own writings, ‘integration’ is cited as one of four key requirements for the functioning of society. Conflict theory was the inevitable counterpart to the consensus view of social order and was developed in opposition to Parsonsian functionalism in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This approach rejects the assumption of shared norms and values as the basis for social order, and points instead to the balance of power between conflicting interests, both political and economic. With hindsight it is clear that, on many issues, the two groups of protagonists were simply talking past each other.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • CONSENSUS — «Comment se forme un concours unanime parmi des individus séparés?» Envisagée de cette façon, la notion de consensus implique l’analyse des mécanismes et des procédures qui font naître la décision collective. Mais, derrière cette scène apparente… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Consensus — has two common meanings. One is a general among the members of a given group or community, each of which exercises some discretion in decision making and follow up action. The other is as a theory and practice of getting such agreements (for… …   Wikipedia

  • consensus — con‧sen‧sus [kənˈsensəs] noun [singular, uncountable] 1. agreement among a group of people: • The leaders failed to reach a consensus on the issue of trade barriers. • The talks are aimed at building a consensus. 2. the opinion that most people… …   Financial and business terms

  • Consensus — (lat. Übereinstimmung, Übereinkunft bei dogmatischen Streitigkeiten, daher auch Titel der betreffenden Urkunden und Schriften). Dazu zählt u. a. der zum Zweck einer Vereinigung der augsburgischen, böhmischen und helvetischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • consensus — (izg. konsènsus) m DEFINICIJA suglasnost, pristanak 1. teol. slobodna, ničim iznuđena odluka muškarca i žene da sklope brak 2. v. konsenzus SINTAGMA consensus patrum (izg. consensus pȁtrum) teol. jednodušnost crkvenih otaca u nekom određenom… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • consensus — Note the spelling, not concensus. It means ‘general agreement’, and is often used (1) in collocations with of: consensus of authority, evidence, opinion, etc. (although consensus of opinion is strictly tautological), and (2) in more recent usage …   Modern English usage

  • CONSENSUS — (лат.) согласованность; consensus gentium, consensus omnium согласие народов, согласие всех, которое стоиками, Цицероном и философами шотландской школы использовалось в качестве доказательства. См. также Аргумент. Философский энциклопедический… …   Философская энциклопедия

  • Consensus (, ) — Consensus (consensus gentium, consensus omnium)         (лат.) согласие, общее мнение (согласие народов, согласие всех). Философский энциклопедический словарь. М.: Советская энциклопедия. Гл. редакция: Л. Ф. Ильичёв, П. Н. Федосеев, С. М. Ковалёв …   Философская энциклопедия

  • Consensus — Con*sen sus, n. [L. See {Consent}.] Agreement; accord; consent. [1913 Webster] That traditional consensus of society which we call public opinion. Tylor. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Consensus — (lat.), 1) Übereinstimmung, Vereinigung; bes. 2) bei entstandenen Streitigkeiten od. Trennungen innerhalb einer Confession, dogmatischer Formeln od. Schriften, zur Herbeiführung einer Vereinigung; so a) zwischen lutherischen u. reformirten… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.