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Complex society: one of the possible Luhmannite theories of sociology

Komplexe Gesellschaft: eine der möglichen Luhmannschen Soziologien

Pokol, Béla


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Abstract In the first part of the study a version of Luhmann's theory of differentiation is undertaken. Luhmann took Parson's analytical systems approach away and sees the systemic social mechanisms as real and concret. In the sixties and seventies it was a great problem for him to find the structures of empirical delimitation of subsystems of society above the organisational systems level. Recently he was able to work out this with theoretical sharpness. A subsystem of society can be delimited by its being organized around a binary code. The modern science is organized around the binary code of true/ false, the law around the code "lawful/ unlawful", the economy around the code "profitable/ non-profitable". The above-mentioned is the starting point of the paper but there are undertaken some corrections on this theorem. In the reality the binary codes of truefalse, lawful/ unlawful etc. dominate only the communications of the professional scientists, lawyers etc. and this domination is forced through the special recruting-, socialisation-, rewarding-, and sanctioning mechanisms created in each professional system of institutions. Hence the structural differentiations of society above the organizational systems level have to be reduced to the level of the professional institutions. In this way the category of "everyday life" emerged for the diffuse, non-specialized communications and in this formulation the modernisation of european societies can be grasped as the differentiation of systems of professional institutions out of the diffuse everyday life. With this correction the theory of Luhmannn came closer to Habermas's theory but the paper does not share his aversion against the systemic formations. On the basis of Karl Polanyi's distinction of economy into material production and formal market economy the paper takes out the latter of the simple professional systems and makes evident that the market mechanisms play important role in organising a lot of professional systems. Markests within the university-scientific system, within sports, arts etc. These are the cases of double rationalities. Furthermore the study corrects Luhmann's starting-point that the communications in the professional systems of institutions are only dominated by the special binary code and it is emphasized they are formed through a lot of other aspects of evaluations. But after the differentiation of the professional systems these aspects of evaluation other than the own binary code can form the professional communications only through the domination of the central binary code of each professional system. This correction brings Luhmann's theory closer to Richard Munch's theory of interpenetration. And last but not least these corrections draws attention to Parson's theory of professions. Although his analytical systems approach was found as insufficient. In the second part of the study the theoretical framework of the professional system of institutions is applied to the political system, the legal system and the social system of science.
Thesaurusschlagwörter Luhmann, N.; sociological theory; system theory; institution; professionalization; social system; society; modernization; research approach; everyday life; science; political system; legal order
Klassifikation Allgemeine Soziologie, Makrosoziologie, spezielle Theorien und Schulen, Entwicklung und Geschichte der Soziologie
Methode Grundlagenforschung; Theoriebildung
Freie Schlagwörter System theory; Subsystems; Luhmann; Habermas; Parsons; complex society; profession
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 1990
Erscheinungsort Budapest
Seitenangabe 115 S.
Status Postprint; begutachtet
Lizenz Creative Commons - Namensnennung