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Foreword: Trends in Functional Differentiation

[journal article]

Roth, Steffen

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Abstract Modern social sciences in imply rather than apply functional differentiation and remain preoccupied with the cross-tabling of variables associated with earlier forms of differentiation. The key variables of modernity hence remain blind spots or theoretically motivated constants of most sociology. The problem with this conceptual gap is that social theories and sciences have always featured a trend toward the observation of trends in functional differentiation such as the secularization, politicization, mediatization, aestheticization, juridification, or, most popularly, the economization of society. These trend statements, however, inevitably call for a systematic reflection not only on the individual trends, but also on the full concept of functional differentiation. Yet, in predominantly zooming in on political and economical issues, most social theories and sciences perform rather than study an assumed political and economic bias of modern societies, thus projecting it to the future. The challenge is hence to create a broader vision of sometimes changing trends in functional differentiation, and the contributions to this special issue of Cybernetics and Human Knowing may be read as pioneers in this venture.
Keywords functional differentiation; social differentiation; sociological theory; sociology; Luhmann, N.; social research; trend
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; General Concepts, Major Hypotheses and Major Theories in the Social Sciences
Free Keywords differentiation theory; interfunctional social research; datafication; alternativelessness; noise
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 5-9
Journal Cybernetics & Human Knowing, 22 (2015) 4
ISSN 0907-0877
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications