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March 02 2010

Can Social Systems be Autopoietic? Bhaskar's and Giddens' Social Theories - KAR - Kent Academic Repository

Abstract

The theory of autopoiesis, that is systems that are self-producing or self-constructing, was originally developed to explain the particular nature of living as opposed to non-living entities. It was subsequently enlarged to encompass cognition and language leading to what is known as second-order cybernetics. However, as with earlier biological theories, many authors have tried to extend the domain of the theory to encompass social systems, the most notable being Luhmann. The purpose of this paper is to consider critically the extent to which the theory of autopoiesis, as originally defined, can be applied to social systems-that is, whether social systems are autopoietic. And, if it cannot, whether some weaker version might be appropriate. It addresses this question by considering whether autopoiesis can be applied to the theoretical conceptions of Giddens and Bhaskar. It follows an earlier paper that evaluated Luhmann's autopoietic social theory.
Reposted fromwolfhesse wolfhesse

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