RC51 is the research committee on sociocybernetics of the International Sociological Association.

We aim to promote the development of sociocybernetic theory and research within the social sciences. Sociocybernetics is broadly defined here as applications within the social sciences of first- and second-order cybernetics, general systems theory and the various combinations and variations of these that can be subsumed under the term “the emerging sciences of complexity”.

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Walter Buckley Award 2014

Every year we assign during our annual conference the Walter Buckley Award to the most effective and clear presentation. It’s a great pleasure to announce that in Yokohama the committee decided to award Giovanni Boccia Artieri and Laura Gemini (University of Urbino Carlo Bo) for their presentation titled “Towards a Methodology of Visual Analysis on Twitter. the Earthquake in Northern Italy”. You can read the abstract of the presentation here.

XVIII ISA World Congress Web Program

The full XVIII ISA World Congress web program is now available for you to access at: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2014/webprogram/start.html. The program for RC51 Sessions only is also available at: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2014/webprogram/Symposium224.html.

Journal of Sociocybernetics, Vol. 11, is out!

From our Journal Editor

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce to you that the Vol. 11 (2013) of JOURNAL OF
SOCIOCYBERNETICS is out. You can view it here

http://zaguan.unizar.es/ojs/index.php/rc51-jos/index

But I must inform you that the publication of the current issueis not free of dolour. Deeply shocked and with great sorrow wehad to take note that Nils O. Larsson, one of the authors of the lastissue of JoS, passed away unexpectedly. For many years Nils O. Larssonwas a member of the Research Committee on Sociocybernetics (RC 51) andthe International Sociological Association (ISA). He was part of theWorld Congress of Sociology 2010 in Gothenburg, where he organized theRC 51 – Session “Global problems require solutions with a globalperspective”. This session was strongly related to one of the mainthemes of the XVII World Congress of Sociology: sustainability, asubject which had become more and more in focus due to the threateningclimate change and the present economic crisis. In the face of theincreasing and sometimes overwhelming complexity of these problems, itwas Nils’ ambition to develop an adequate research method that couldanalyse and design human activity systems on an individual, family, aswell as a societal and global level. He called this methodology”Decision Settings Analysis”. Three of the papers, presented in hisworld congress session were published later in Volume 10 of JoS.Unfortunately Nils has not lived to see the results of his endeavours.He passed away during the editorial process which only became aware tous once the volume had been published. Today, as we prepare for theVXIII World Congress of Sociology in Yokohama, Nils O. Larsson ismissed very much.

The current issue of the Journal of Sociocybernetics includes threetheoretical oriented articles and one empircal study. In their article“Changing Social Focusing in Indigenous Social Movements” the authorsDavid Flynn and James Hay develop a theory to explain why some socialmovements develop through stages of increasing intensity which wedefine as an increase in social focusing. The authors name six suchstages of focusing: disintegration, revitalization, religious,organisation, militaristic, and self-immolation. Their theory uses twovariables from the social sciences: differentiation and centrality,where differentiation refers to the internal structure of a socialsystem and centrality measures the variety of incoming information. Theratio of the two, differentiation/centrality (the d/c ratio) is ashorthand way of saying that centrality must be matched by acorresponding level of differentiation to maintain basic focusing. Totest the theory the authors examine historically indigenous socialmovements, in particular, the Grassy Narrows movement in northernOntario Canada.

Ksenia Sidorova, Roxana Quiroz Carranza and Astrid Karina Rivero Pérezpresent an empirical study about the youth in a marginalized Communityin Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. The subjects of the research are allstudents of a high school, created by a local university specificallyfor the needs of their community. The study looks into the processes oftheir construction as knowing subjects that possess their own ideas onwhat it means to be young, participate in personal networks, and havehad a unique experience related to the human rights, which more thanoften are violated in the case of “marginalized” youth.

In continuation of his “Introduction into Sociocybernetics” Roberto Gustavo Mancilla presents now the third and last part which is named “Fourth Order Cybernetics” and where the author focusses the question of rationality and language. The first and second part were published in volumes 9 and 10 of JoS.

Finally, looking forward the 50 anniversary of the death of NorbertWiener in 2014, Michael Paetau asks in his article “Niklas Luhmann andCybernetics” in what extent we can include Luhmann’s work into thecybernetic tradition. Which are the significant connection-pointsbetween cybernetics and Luhmann’s work? What is the relevance of thisconnection for Luhmanns own theoretical development? Which are thecongruences and which are the differences? To what extent is Luhmann’sTheory of Social Systems even though his critical distance integrableinto the spectrum of the approaches of “New Cybernetic” (as Geyer &van der Zouwen formulated in 1986)?

The next edition of JoS is currently prepared. For further issues weinvite schoolars who have their background in the field of systemstheory, sociocybernetics, information- and communication science andwho apply this for studying various social phenomena regarding theircomplexity and dynamics, to submit articles for publication in theJournal of Sociocybernetics .For submitting articles authors need toregister with the journal prior to submitting. People who want toregister have the option to register as a reader or as an author. Everyreader or author can register by themselves using the journal’swebsite. After clicking the register item they will be guided throughthe registration process. After registration they will be able to loginby username and password and then authors may submit their papers. Thesystem will immediately confirm the submission and will automaticallytrigger the review process. Authors will get an email with a URL thatwill enable them to track its progress through the editorial processonce they are logged in. We recommend to review the “About the Journal”page for the journal’s policies, as well as the “Author Guidelines”

Submit your Abstract for ISA World Congress of Sociology (before it’s too late)

The deadline (September 30, 2013 24:00 GMT) to submit your proposals for the 2014 ISA World Congress of Sociology is rapidly approaching:

Please note that unlike previous world conferences:
1) Only abstracts submitted on-line will be considered in the selection process (no e-mail).
2) The research committees will NOT be able to autonomously extend the deadline of September 30, 2013 24:00 GMT (since the submission is centralized and web based).
3) The abstract text cannot contain more than 300 words.

RC51 on Sociocybernetics is organizing 17 sessions on all the most intriguing and up to date topics.

This is the complete list of RC51 sessions (in alphabetical order):

Please forward this post to your colleagues.

Submit your abstract now: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2014/cfp.cgi

Journal of Sociocybernetics volume 10 is now available

We are pleased to announce that the Vol. 10 (2012) of our open access Journal of Sociocybernetics  is out.

The current issue focus on “Sustainable Development”. The first two articles attend the social dimension of the tri-dimensional approach of Sustainability (ecological, economic and social dimension). Luciano Gallón starts with his article “Poverty and Artificial Sustainability. A research on the Structure and Dynamics of South America” where he shows the process of building a theoretical and practical framework for modelling South America using the approach of Systems Dynamics.

The social dimension of Sustainable Development is also focussed in the following contribution. Darío Menanteau-Horta analyses in his article “Globalization and Distorted Development: In Search of a System Perspective for Sustainability” the topic of Sustainable Development within the controversy between those who promise prosperity and opportunities in an expanded and international world market and those who claim that globalization, as it has been carried on today, is a negative force for peace, equity, and social development.

In his Short Communication to this topic Nils O. Larsson suggests a methodology to find the most important decisions within a specific area of discussion. Focussing on the important decisions and in which settings they are taken gives an increased possibility of solving the problems in question. In this actual subject the analysis should cover decisions on all levels i.e. individual, informal and formal groupings of people, nations, group of nations as well as decisions on the global level.

In continuation of his “Introduction into Sociocybernetics”, published in the last edition of JoS, Roberto Gustavo Mancilla presents now the second part focussing the relationship between power, culture and institutions. The third part in which the question of rationality and language will be discussed follows in the next issue of the Journal of Sociocybernetics.

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