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'Structure'/'Action' Contingencies and the Model of Parallel Distributed Processing

Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 23(1) (1993) 47-77

39 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2013  

Loet Leydesdorff

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

Date Written: August 27, 1992

Abstract

By considering actors in a network as parallel distributed processors, a cybernetic and dynamic model for "structure"/"action" contingency relations can be developed. This model will be discussed in relation to four relevant sociological theories: the formal network analysis of action, Giddens' structuration theory, the micro-situational and phenomenological approaches, and Parsonian structural-functionalism. Parallel distributed processing has in common with Luhmann's sociology that the phenomena are analyzed as the result not only of a differentiated system, but also of different systems with specific operations. Although cybernetic control remains, the new model allows, among other things, for degrees of self-organization ("freedom") in each system. Additionally, the model enables us to use existing algorithms of artificial intelligence and the mathematical theory of communication for the analysis of empirical problems.

Suggested Citation

Leydesdorff, Loet, 'Structure'/'Action' Contingencies and the Model of Parallel Distributed Processing (August 27, 1992). Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 23(1) (1993) 47-77 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2207678

Loet Leydesdorff (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) ( email )

PO Box 15793
Amsterdam, 1001 NG
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.leydesdorff.net

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