Structural Coupling and Time

If communication had to take into consideration an unfiltered world, it could not sustain itself. Consciousness must reduce the complexity of the world, by limiting what can be heard or seen, etc., before communication can come into being as an autopoietic system. A great deal must be excluded.

Social structures are expectations

Social structures are typically thought of as “patterned social arrangements in society” or “the most basic, enduring, and determinative patterns in social life” (Dictionary of the Social Sciences). But in Luhmannian theory, social structures are not things like family relations, friendships, organizational chains of command, etc. They are expectations. Social structures are expectational structures. We can reduce it to one question: What comes next?

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