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Samhället som system och dess ekologiska omvärld. En studie i Niklas Luhmanns sociologiska systemteori
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
1997 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is divided into two main parts. The first part is an exposé of Niklas Luhmann’s comprehensive sociological systems theory. Systems theory is a theory focusing upon the distinction between system and environment. In the first chapter the systems theoretical foundations as related to theory of science, its basic methodology, its central concepts and their historical development are presented and discussed. In the second and third chapter the presentation and discussion takes its point of departure in the two primary levels of analysis: the theory of social systems as communication systems; and the as well special as general theory of society as social system, respectively. One of Luhmann’s many challenging thesis – inspired by the phenomenology of Schutz and the second order cybernetics of von Foerster – is that the sociologist primarily is an observer of observations of (other) observations; another that social systems operate as autopoietic systems, i.e. as self-referential and “self-producing”, operatively closed, but cognitively open systems.

The theory of society comprises of four parts: 1) the theory of communication media, 2) of evolution, 3) of differentiation, and 4) of society’s self-description. According to the theory of differentiation, the systems of economy, politics, law, science, family, etc., are operating as functions systems in the system of society. One conclusion of the analysis is that in modern society the distinction between inclusion and exclusion is a main, guiding distinction for the understanding of how persons are connected to society.

The second part of the thesis is a systems theoretical analysis of the ecological environmental problems of society, thereby showing the relevance of systems theory in the understanding a contemporary sociological issue. The analysis is carried out around three theses: 1) Society can only relate and react to the environmental problem through communication; 2) Modern society is, to a high degree, dependent upon technology. Therefore, it is exposed to risks. Risk should be seen mainly as a form of danger caused by decisions of one’s own. Risk is thus not contrary to security, but a distinction between danger and risk; 3) Functional differentiation, which is shown to have a lot of advantages to the modern complex society, also causes great difficulties in attempting to solve environmental problems. However, this insight brings, as is shown, the only key to solutions. The environmental issue makes more urgent not only the development of an ”environmental sociology”, but first and foremost a general theory of society.

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: sociologiska inst., Lunds universitet , 1997. , p. 521
Keyword [sv]
binär kodifiering, distinktion, differens, distinktionens metodologi, mening, kommunikation, handlande, konst, vetenskap, rättssystem, politik, pengar, ekonomi, globalisering, världssamhälle, samhällsteori, stratifiering, periferi, centrum, integration, funktionell differentiering, funktionell analys, funktion, strukturell koppling, lös koppling, organisation, interaktion, identitet, person, socialisation, erfarenhet, förväntning, dubbel kontingens, komplexitet, kybernetik, observation av andra ordningen, observatör, observatörsperspektiv, subjekt, medium, form, symboliska medier, kommunikationsmedier, konflikt, dissensus, konsensus, formlogik, Luhmann, sociologi, sociologisk systemteori, allmän systemteori, helhet, sociala system, saklighet, socialitet, tidslighet, autonomi, autopoiesis, operation, självreferens, konstruktivism, kognitionsteori, kunskapsteori, omvärld, rollfunktion, struktur, religion, familj, kärlek, moral, makt, styrning, egenvärde, inklusion, exklusion, självbeskrivning, reflexionsteori, ontologi, autologi, evolution, selektion, risk, riskteori, miljöetik, ekologisk omvärld, miljösociologi
National Category
Social Sciences Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-15477ISBN: 91-89078-09-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-15477DiVA, id: diva2:414947
Note
Utgiven: Ej Örebro univAvailable from: 2011-05-05 Created: 2011-05-05 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Jönhill, Jan Inge

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