Can Social Systems be Autopoietic? Bhaskar's and Giddens' Social Theories

Mingers, John (2004) Can Social Systems be Autopoietic? Bhaskar's and Giddens' Social Theories. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 34 (4). pp. 403-428. ISSN 0021-8308 . (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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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.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Depositing User: John Mingers
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2008 00:34
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2014 13:53
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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