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Alienation in Community and Society: Effects of Increasing Environmental Complexity

Felix Geyer (Netherlands Universities' Institute for Co‐ordination of Research in Social Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 February 1992



Takes a general systems approach to reconceptualize and interconnect existing theories of alienation in community and in society. Alienation is viewed as a generic term for different types of information processing disturbances of human individuals, conceived as autoietic, self‐steering and self‐referential systems. In considering the possible relationships between alienation and the community‐society continuum, regarded as a controversial and complex one, a third element, complexity itself, which exerts its influence, is introduced. The main focus is on the different kinds of alienated response that may be evoked by relatively simple versus relatively complex environments. Discusses the idealized concept of the community and describes the negative effects of idealization. Finally, addresses the question of what type of community is still feasible in the highly complex society.



Geyer, F. (1992), "Alienation in Community and Society: Effects of Increasing Environmental Complexity", Kybernetes, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 33-49.




Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited

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