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Convergencia

On-line version ISSN 2448-5799Print version ISSN 1405-1435

Abstract

FARIAS, Ignacio. Culture: performing sociomaterial worlds. Convergencia [online]. 2014, vol.21, n.64, pp.65-91. ISSN 2448-5799.

Niklas Luhmann has proposed to radically rethink what we commonly understand by culture. Rather than being an analytical and/or political category to account for shared normative orientations, culture is a category of practice that emerges in a recent historical context to make it possible the comparison of society with itself. This article proposes to complement such definition in two directions. Firstly, it shall be argued that culture as an operation performs worlds, this is, familiar condensations of diverse situations, entities and functional logics. Secondly, it is proposed that the performation of said worlds depends on material mediations. It is, in consequence, necessary to question the premises of systems theory that reduce the social to sense-based communication. Thus, while social systems theory permits a productive redefinition of the concept of culture, such redefinition leads again to question important premises of this theory.

Keywords : culture; worlds; materiality; diagram; social systems theory; actor-network theory.

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