The Network Synthesis of Social Action I: Towards a Sociological Theory of Next Society

Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol. 14, pp. 9-42, 2007

34 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2011

Date Written: June 1, 2007

Abstract

Sociological theory has always been a theory on the network synthesis of social action. In this age of society intrigued by the introduction of computers, this has to become explicit. To know about the form of the network synthesis of social action means to know how the society, which will cease to be modern and become, instead, the next one, a knowledge society, deals with its inherent dynamics by generating specific structures able to sustain social action. This paper attempts to look more closely at the network synthesis of social action from two perspectives. Firstly it goes back to Niklas Luhmann's conjecture about the structures of society depending mainly on culture forms able to deal with the surplus meaning, or overflow, produced by the introduction of new media for the dissemination of communication. This is a conjecture about the structures of society being the outcome of it having to find a solution to new kinds of overflow by switching from one culture form, and the concomitant social structure, order, and understanding , to another. The morphogenesis of society depends on these dissemination media eclipsing one another, while all however persisting, even if changed in scope, scale, and range. The paper, then, tries to develop a model of social action which takes into account the culture form possibly able to deal with the surplus meaning brought about by the introduction of the computer as a medium for the dissemination of communication. This model proposes a form integrating ideas from sociological systems theory and sociological network theory. It tries to be simple enough to accommodate the complexity of social action.

Keywords: modern society, network, next society, sociological theory

Suggested Citation

Baecker, Dirk, The Network Synthesis of Social Action I: Towards a Sociological Theory of Next Society (June 1, 2007). Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol. 14, pp. 9-42, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1867411

Dirk Baecker (Contact Author)

Witten/Herdecke University ( email )

Germany

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