Publication 3018

Luhmann N. (1977) Differentiation of society. Canadian Journal of Sociology 2(1): 29–54. Fulltext at
Abstract: Recent developments in systems theory have replaced the paradigm of the whole and its parts with the paradigm of system and environment. System differentiation, therefore, has to be conceived as the reduplication of the difference between system and environment within systems. Differentiation is the reflexive form of system building. In the special case of the society as the encompassing social system, this approach makes it possible (I) to analyse different types of differentiation (i.e. segmentation, stratification, and functional differentiation) within a common conceptual framework, (2) to elaborate on internal problems of differentiated societies, basing the autonomy of subsystems on the multiplication of system references for functional orientation, performance, and reflexion, and (3) to prepare the theoretical integration of systems theory and the theory of evolution. |29|

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