Talcott Parsons’ Theory of Social Action and the Dialectics of Civil Disorder in Nigeria

A Theoretical Survey.


  • Chidi O. UKAEGBU Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka NIGERIA
  • Makodi BIEREENU-NNABUGWU Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka NIGERIA


Civil Disorder, Purposive Action, Social Action and Social Forces


The dynamics of social action and various shades of civil action and disorder arising from the nature and character of the variety of the social forces and groups in Nigeria has remained a recurring feature of the Nigerian state. Many of these social action and civil disorder dates back to the early days of British colonization and founding of the Nigerian state and has continued unabated to the present day. In many cases, the dominant class of the state have strategically placed their surrogates to condemn these civil actions. This study investigated the intersection of Talcott Parsons’ theory of social action and the preponderance of such civil disorder in Nigeria. It interrogated how Talcott Parsons’ principle of purposive action of individuals is critical in explaining the rise and expansion of civil disorder in Nigeria which extant literatures have not sufficiently analyzed. The study was anchored on the Liberal paradigm and specifically on structural-functional theory. Broadly, the study was anchored on qualitative research design but specifically we adopted explanatory research design. It relied on the documentary method of data collection, and on qualitative type of data while the secondary sources of data generation was used. The general analytic tool was adopted for the presentation and analysis of data generated for the study. Thus, logic based on Parsons’ theoretical postulations formed the basis for concluding that man is motivated by rational considerations of his wants and the situation which affects their fulfillment. If attention is merely paid to the social action (symptoms), it will provide the most superficial and temporary relief as the underlying reason for the social action and the expansion of civil disorder itself will still be left unaddressed. Accordingly, this study recommended that logical acts of disputation must be engaged to address systemic injustices to keep the continuous corporate existence of the Nigerian State paramount.

Author Biographies

Chidi O. UKAEGBU, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka NIGERIA

Department of Political Science

Makodi BIEREENU-NNABUGWU, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka NIGERIA

Department of Political Science




How to Cite

UKAEGBU, C. O., & BIEREENU-NNABUGWU, M. (2024). Talcott Parsons’ Theory of Social Action and the Dialectics of Civil Disorder in Nigeria: A Theoretical Survey. Socialscientia: Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 8(4). Retrieved from https://journals.aphriapub.com/index.php/SS/article/view/2522




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