Zwischen operativem Konstruktivismus und Differenzierungstheorie: Zum Gesellschaftsbegriff der soziologischen Systemtheorie

Göbel, Andreas
September 2006
Soziale Systeme;2006, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p311
Academic Journal
The article discusses some problems of the concept of ›society‹ in Niklas Luhmann's theory of society, especially that the paradoxical notion that, on the one hand, society is identical with the social as such and, on the other hand, only one of three types of social systems (and in this sense not the concept of their unity) needs further explanation. The text tries to explain this indecision as a result of different theoretical purposes. The main aim of the concept of society is to accentuate a specific form of differentiation – and for modern society of course: functional differentiation –, which in some sense functions as a background and context for all other social systems. But the main problem of this aim is to ensure that society itself has the character of a system and is not reduced to a grounding structure. In interpreting society in terms of communication as an emergent quality (in difference to a non-social environment) this theory of society seems to find a solution to the problem of the "systemness" of society.


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