Modernisering, social mobilitet og systemteori - en diskussion af Niklas Luhmanns systemteori

  • Jakob Arnoldi


Title: Modernization, Social Mobility and Systems Theory - a discussion of the systems theory of Niklas Luhmann The article is concerned with the con¬cepts of meaning, self-reference and sy¬stems autonomy in Luhmann’s theory. The article takes as its starting point empirical data on intergenerational social mobility. Such emperical data indi¬cate, it is claimed, that questions can be raised regarding the concept of systems autonomy in Luhmann’s theory. Based on this, the article performs a more de¬tailed analysis of Luhmann’s theory of self-reference and meaning. Luhmann’s theory is contrasted with Bourdieu’s praxeology in order to show the diffe¬rences between the semantically based systems theory and the, to some extent, pragmatically based praxeology. Bour¬dieus praxeology contains a focus on the relations between social and mental structures which serves to explain social reproduction in spite of systems differentiation. An outline for a different approach that contains both semantics and pragmatics, thereby avoiding the neo-functionalism of Luhmann, is sket¬ched in the last part of the article. This is done by implementing a structuration approach in the systems theory.