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Additional info for A beginner's guide to social theory
Everything which is part of the system is involved in these processes of self-production. The elements which make up the system have no given period of life; everything must be continually reproduced. Without the capacity to generate its own independence from the environment, the social system would cease to exist. As Luhmann explains: `System differentiation is nothing more than the repetition of system formation within systems' (Luhmann, 1995: 18). 38 Functionalist Perspectives Differentiation is a principle which makes the system harmonious, it provides the system with its systematicity.
This distinction between society and interaction is found in all social relationships. The relationship between society and interaction is referred to as an episode: `Interactions are episodes of societal process' (Luhmann, 1995: 406). Such episodes are possible only if there is a high degree of certainty that communication has a societal basis to it. Society acts upon what happens within interaction: `The beginning and end of an interaction are merely caesuras in society's autopoiesis' (Luhmann, 1995: 407).
In other words, a person could not grasp concepts such as space or time without having the intellectual faculty to organise their experience in terms of space and time. Durkheim never considers the possibility that categories of thought may be based upon ideology; that powerful groups within society may manipulate the ideas of others. There is also in Durkheim's analysis the assumption that there is only one mode of interpretation, notably of moral obligation and discipline. Also Durkheim only discusses education as a mechanism that people can make use of to share the conscience collective.