The paper first gives a tentative theoretical explanation of the concept of media, based on the dichotomies of actual/potential (meaning), form/medium (appearance), and substratum/material content (extension in time and space). This theoretical explanation presents the possibility for observation both of a social micro and a social macro level from a medium perspective. In the next section the paper frames the macro level by a tentative synthesis of the medium theory and the sociological systems theory briefly describing a socio-evolutionary process where new media alter the societal capacity to handle complexity in time and space. In this section it becomes probable that by means of different media, social systems give different possibilities for actual social performance. In a way, social systems themselves can be seen as medium for formation. Finally the paper takes the micro level perspective by applying the theory to newsgroups, interpreting them as self-organizing interactive systems giving a differentiated and diversified scope for social inclusion.
Medium Theory, systemteori, Luhmann, Finnemann, Ong, McLuhan, Meyrowitz; Medium Theory, Systems Theory, Luhmann, Finnemann, Ong, McLuhan, Meyrowitz
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<em>7 Annual Conference of the International Society of Systems Science July in Crete</em>(peer-review of abstract). And on the <em>CCC Luhmann conference in Copenhagen May 2003</em> (peer-review of abstract).