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The main Features of a Social System A social network as a theory in sociological theory is one of the great importance and indeed necessary. As a theoretical idea and component of theoretical explanation, it highlights the complex nature of the society we live in. (Craib 1992) Talcott Parsons, a dominant functionalist theorist, focused much of his work on the idea of a social system. (Water 1994) Such a concept is really synonymous with his work. Whilst there's not any universal sociological definition of this concept, Parsons defined a social network as: "a plurality of human actors interacting with each other in a scenario which has a physical or ecological aspect, actors that are motivated concerning the tendency to the "optimisation of satisfaction" and whose relation to their situations, including every other, is defined and conducive concerning a system of structured symbols." (cited in Wallace & Wolf 1999) To be able to fully grasp the qualities of Parsons' social network it's necessary to examine this type of theory in the context of his all-embracing strategy theory, or more specifically his concept of activity. But, theoretical vices become apparent, thus it's critical to briefly address the concept from an alternate perspective, like Dahrendorf's concept, in order to highlight varying characteristics of the concept of a social network, but also the interpretative nature such a theory entails. Therefore this essay primarily will deal only with these highlights or 'features'. From a functionalist perspective, society is viewed as a system insofar as it's made up of components, which mesh together. The basic unit of analysis is society, and its various parts are known primarily i.. .