The Self-Organization of the Cultural Subsystem of Modern Society

This paper tries to link Self-organization theory and Cultural Studies. Its approach can be described as a dialectical Cultural Materialism that integrates aspects from semiotics and systems theory in order to describe culture as an integrative, dynamic, complex, evolving system. Subjective theories conceive culture as opinion, ideas, beliefs, a state of mind of human beings, objective theories consider it as symbolic content stored in objects of the human being’s environment or as collective ideas and world-views and a totality of collective meaningful practices in society, dualistic theories consider it as having independent subjective and objective forms. Culture is a social process that produces common meanings that signify certain entities in a self-organizing system, this process is based on a mutual productive relationship between the subjective culture of a human being (his ideas, norms, values, beliefs) and objective cultural structures (meaningful cultural artefacts with symbolic content, and collective norms, ideas, values, rules, traditions, world-views (Weltanschauung) ethics, morals). Knowledge is a threefold dynamic social process of cognition, communication, and cooperation, an active productive relationship between knowledgeable human beings. Collective norms, values, rules, world-views, traditions, morals, and ethics as well as cultural products store knowledge about the social world and reduce the complexity of the social world, they are objective cultural knowledge. Objective cultural knowledge and subjective cultural knowledge (individual ideas) produce each other mutually.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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