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The Global and the LocalUnderstanding the Dialectics of Business Systems$
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Arndt Sorge

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278909

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278909.001.0001

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Societal Effects: From Vacuum to Tropical Jungle

Societal Effects: From Vacuum to Tropical Jungle

(p.29) 2 Societal Effects: From Vacuum to Tropical Jungle
The Global and the Local

Arndt Sorge

Oxford University Press

Institutions can be considered as softer or harder typifications of reciprocally understood meanings attached to social patterns. Their origin is explained by the sociology of knowledge and the interactionist school of sociology. They extend to more macro institutions or structures via the duality of social action. Societal space does two things: it divides action into institutionally and functionally differentiated action systems, and it breeds coherence across action systems with segmented meanings; societal effects make any action reverberate through the differentiated texture of action systems. Action systems are thus tightly coupled although institutional domains are loosely coupled (i.e., relatively autonomous). Society invariably has many layers that may be differentiated or conflated. Internationalization blends into and is interdependent with the layered architecture of society. It implies related processes of expansion and provincialization of social horizons.

Keywords:   interactionism, sociology of knowledge, societal layering, action systems, institutions, loose coupling, tight coupling

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