Jesper in 2010

11 Aug 2010


This year I am working with the concept of structural coupling. First I made a paper that I presented in Dubrovnik in April:

Tække, Jesper 2011, Media as the mechanism behind structural coupling and the evolution of the mind. Paper presented at LUHMANN IN ACTION: EMPIRICAL STUDIES OF STRUCTURAL COUPLINGS, International University Centre of post-graduate studies (IUC), Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The concept addresses one of the major theoretical problems, namely the problem of how otherwise differentiated forms of being continuously adapts to each other and thereby mutually enabling each other. Now I am working on a paper for the: Power and Participation: The 25th Conference of the Nordic Sociological Association in Oslo 4 – 7 august 2011. In this paper I compare Luhmann’s concept of Structural coupling with Latour’s concept of translation and illustrate, in two analysis of Twitter, the strengths and weaknesses, and the similarities and differences of the two theories.

Together with Michael Paulsen I have also got a research project through which is called Socio Media Education.


This year the major project is that I am the editor of the journal MedieKultur, which is the Danish localized international journal within media studies. Michael Paulsen stands by me, but come on, so much work there are in it! Our special issue is on the street, or rather, online in November. There are ten articles most in English but also one in Swedish and a couple in Danish. The topic is ‘Luhmann and the media’ and I hope this special issue creates more awareness and interest in Luhmann as a media theorist.

I have also an article in the journal (which Michael has been editor on). It’s about Facebook and follow up on the first article I wrote this year: “Facebook’s communicative space”. It called: “Facebook - a network within the community” and works with the theory of Luhmann, and with some skepticism I have with Facebook, because most communication in this medium just takes place in networks, which are closed to them who are kept out – briefly said - you should not imagine that you participate in a community when you communicate within Facebook.

This skepticism, I also present at the Association for Internet Research (AIR)’s annual conference in Gothenburg October 21 to 23, where I present an accepted English version of the article. Also, at this Conference, I will participate in a panel with, among others Charles Ess - and expand the skepticism about Facebook and discuss implications for the personal socially constructed identity – which of course, on Facebook cannot find confirmation in a community, but only through the random comments you get on your status updates.

This theme I will pursue and write a paper on to the Association of Media Researchers in Denmark (SMID)’s conference in Kolding December 2 - 3.

The day before then, December the 1st., it appears that we have the annual Luhmann seminar - which this year is hosted by Gorm Harste and is about method, or rather on analytical strategies based on Luhmann. I will talk about gathering empirical data on the Internet.

This year, Michael and I, besides an introduction to the MediaKultur Journal, publish two articles on the new wireless communication media’s influence on teaching situations in the Danish upper secondary schools. The first appeared in February in Norsk Medietidsskrift (The Norwegian Media Journal) and is called: “Wireless networks and social norms.” The second appears in the Danish Sociology Journal this fall and is about how power changes hands and forms of expression under the influence of new media.

2010 is also the year where finally the anthology “Luhmann and power” from the publisher Unge Pædagoer, which I am series editor for and have an article in, comes into the bookshops. My article is about how the new media because they are storage media of interaction, etc. at the same time also works as media of surveillance - and how this monitoring impacts on power in organizations. This article I am also about to make an English version of which I am trying to get in the journal Surveillance & Society.

Of cause I also have a lot of supervision and teaching - here is the new and exciting that I, along with Anne Marie Dinesen and Helle Mathiasen, provide a joint master course: “Communication - organization, learning and media”. This is a real Luhmann course where we present one perspective each, and we are going to be more than one professor each time to discuss theory and empirical analysis with the students.

Look at my website where there is a list of publications where articles mentioned here is laid out, linked to, or referred to.