Whenever people try to undercut the independence of or science or journalism, for example, we see the countermovement of functional de-differentiation. The battle between creationism (or the more respectable “intelligent design”) and the theory of evolution has been an attack on the functional differentiation of science; it’s effort to subordinate science to religion. A closely related movement has been the movement away from public schooling in the form of fundamentalist schools and religion-based homeschooling, which seeks to subordinate education to religion.
At the heart of all disciplinary systems functions a small penal mechanism. It enjoys a kind of judicial privilege with its own laws, its specific offences, its particular forms of judgement. The disciplines established an ‘infra-penality’; they partitioned an area that the laws had left empty; they defined and repressed a mass of behaviour that the relative indifference of the great systems of punishment had allowed to escape. ‘ [. . .] The workshop, the school, the army were subject to a whole micro-penality of time (latenesses, absences, interruptions of tasks), of activity (inattention, negligence, lack of zeal), of behaviour
(impoliteness, disobedience), of speech (idle chatter, insolence), of the body (‘incorrect’ attitudes, irregular gestures, lack of cleanliness), of sexuality (impurity, indecency).
The Scottish Enlightenment embarked on nothing less than a massive reordering of human knowledge. It sought to transform every branch of learning—literature and the arts; the social sciences; biology, chemistry, geology, and the other physical and natural sciences—into a series of organized disciplines that could be taught and passed on to posterity.
In evolutionary terms, the family is a type of segmentary differentiation, which preceded functional differentiation but, obviously, still exists. In fact, functional differentiation relies on