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Time Scales of Socio-cultural Dynamics

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Reviewing discussion of autonomous or heteronomous actors in enactivist cognitive science reveals the problem of structure and agency in social theory. A central element in these debates is the concept of levels as it appears in discussion emergence or reduction. Continuing Steiner and Stewart's and Latour's analysis of interaction distant in space and time helps to replace the concept of levels by the concept of time scales. This builds on an enactive reconstruction of Luhmann's communicative turn in social theory, replacing his code view of language by a distributed view of language as embedded and embodied dynamics. This analysis encompasses the time scales of sociocultural dynamics. This allows the question of levels to be disentangled. While phenomenological priority is attributed to real-time events, these enact operationally autonomous socio- cultural time scales. The case is made by the example of the nation enacting various time scales found in classical social theory.
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Keywords: levels; operational autonomy; socio-cultural dynamics; structure and agency; time scales

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Koblenz, Universitaetsstr. 1, 56070 Koblenz, ., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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