- The communication of meaning and the structuration of expectations: Giddens' "structuration theory" and Luhmann's "self-organization"
- Journal of the American Society for information Science and Technology
- Volume | Issue number
- 61 | 10
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The communication of meaning as distinct from (Shannon-type) information is central to Luhmann's social systems theory and Giddens' structuration theory of action. These theories share an emphasis on reflexivity, but focus on meaning along a divide between interhuman communication and intentful action as two different systems of reference. Recombining these two theories into a theory about the structuration of expectations, interactions, organization, and self-organization of intentional communications can be simulated based on algorithms from the computation of anticipatory systems. The self-organizing and organizing layers remain rooted in the double contingency of the human encounter, which provides the variation. Organization and self-organization of communication are reflexive upon and therefore reconstructive of each other. Using mutual information in three dimensions, the imprint of meaning processing in the modeling system on the historical organization of uncertainty in the modeled system can be measured. This is shown empirically in the case of intellectual organization as "structurating" structure in the textual domain of scientific articles.
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